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Thread: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

  1. #26

    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    Very cool. Enjoy in good health. Of course, plenty of great music involves mandola in G, including orchestral parts and as an important player in the so-called "quartetto romantico" (two mandolins, mandola, and guitar), e.g.:


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  3. #27

    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    . . . and there's nothing to prevent you from eventually amassing at least one of every type, eh?

  4. #28
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    ...just the small matter of finances...

  5. #29
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    Great performance on that video, Eugene. Thanks for that. Despite the tremolo, I can imagine myself in the mandola chair. Can't wait to get started. It's being posted today, so hopefully I'll have it soon, and in one piece!

  6. #30
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    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    It's always good to see Rob MacKillop on this forum, often with a new interest and asking thoughtful questions. I'm happy to see that I may be able to offer a footnote to Eugene's post about historical sources regarding developments in America. I've read both of the dissertations that he mentions, both very informative.

    I'd like to suggest that you take a look at an excellent book published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2088, Jeffrey J. Noonan's The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age. Being from a university press there's a good chance that one of your local academic libraries might have a copy.

    Despite being primarily a history of guitar, Noonan's book is well-written and spends much of its time discussing the Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar movement in the U.S. The rise and fall of the mandolin in the BMG movement in that movement is well-chronicled and really serves as a good partial history of mandolin in America as well as guitar. I could go on but reading the book itself will be more useful than my ramblings. I did, however, publish a review of the book in the 2008 issue of the Mandolin Journal, available from my site here: http://www.mandotopia.com/articles/G...ricareview.pdf

    On the original topic of this thread I would second any previous recommendations regarding the recordings of the Modern Mandolin Quartet. I've enjoyed them all and I was able to watch the original group rehearse and perform several times in the late 80s.

    The most recent recording by the latest lineup, titled "Americana", features a couple of fine examples of what a plucked string quartet can bring to music written for a bowed quartet. I especially like their rendition of the Dvorak "American Quartet", a piece I know pretty well because I live about 10 miles from Spillville, Iowa where the quartet was composed. I've heard it played live a few times in the church where Dvorak would practice organ and it is frequently programmed in this area by quartets of all abilities. Hearing the music plucked, rather than bowed, is revealing (to me at least) in many ways, despite losing the richness of the bowed sound. The MMQ does a great job of presenting this piece in a new light. There's also a Philip Glass quartet on this CD that sounds pretty good plucked.

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  8. #31

    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    I enjoyed Noonan's book. That one is on my own shelves.

  9. #32
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    Hey, John, I wondered when you would pop in. I've been playing your piece your wrote for Alison's Big Beast - but playing it on my little beast: a 5ths-tuned Concert ukulele :-) Sounds very nice to me.

    Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. Never heard of that book.

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  11. #33
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recordings of Mandolins as String Quartets

    Talking of the Romantic-era ensembles, Paul Sparks in TCM mentions (p.69) the Circolo Mandolinistico Calace, which had the following forces: mandolins, liuti, mandoliras, harps, piano and harmonium. I'd love to hear that sound, even just a big, sonorous Gm chord!

    Here's a mandolira from the Met:

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