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Thread: The Song Inside

  1. #1

    Default The Song Inside

    Dear mandolinist friends around the world,

    I hope you and yours are staying healthy and happy during these difficult times. The consolations of music have never been more precious or more sorely needed…

    A couple of years ago, I was graciously approached by the Concorso Musicale per Strumenti a Pizzico Estudiantina Bergamasca in Bergamo, Italy, asking whether I would be willing to compose a work for unaccompanied mandolin to be used as required competition piece at that illustrious event, specifically by the junior division, the younger contestants. Needless to say, I was delighted to accept immediately. So much of my work as a composer has been intended for the young (including the young at heart ) that this request seemed to fit my outlook on life and music like a glove.

    The outcome was a short piece titled The Song Inside as it quite literally holds inside it as musical core an 18th-century French folk song I once heard at one of those myriad concerts I have played over half a century— quite magical, how music enters the soul as if by osmosis, subconsciously, unnoticed at the time, only to emerge much, much later, often in a whole other guise. This piece was never meant to be any “lesser" than my other works, those intended for adults; the only thing that makes it youth-specific is a deliberate limitation in the range of technique, the breadth of the skill-set required.

    I was just as delighted to hear that my friend and colleague, Dutch mandolinist Alex Timmerman had just recorded and posted on YouTube his own, absolutely lovely performance of this little piece. Beyond the overall beauty of his playing, Alex succeeds in truly putting himself in the composer’s position; he visualizes musically how I sat down with my mandolin and improvised on that old, soulful melody, finding my way. Once I was satisfied with some of those many different paths that I followed in my improvisations, I just wrote the best ones down and that became, well… the composition.

    I share with you this performance, hoping you enjoy it as much as I have. As is my usual practice, the score is yours for the asking; please feel free to zap me a message through the Café's board, giving me your email address, and I will gladly reply with the score as a PDF attachment, entirely gratis.



    Stay well and keep plucking!

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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  3. #2
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Song Inside

    PM sent. That is a beautiful piece, and Alex always plays beautifully. Thank you, Victor!

  4. #3

    Default Re: The Song Inside

    Thanks, Rob! Alex sure plays this little piece like an angel.

    This piece was played by all those countless youngsters who competed at Bergamo and I sure hope it wasn't worse for the wear after the good folks on the adjudicating committee got to hear it umpteen times over. But I suspect they rather liked it. This year's competition was of course postponed due to the current health crisis but the piece has been included in the competition repertoire again for next year. So this baby walks, and walks, and walks...

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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  6. #4

    Default Re: The Song Inside

    Alex had first chosen to post his performance on the mandoliola but, despite his usual modesty, I prevailed upon him to also post his reading of this score on the mandolin, a performance that I personally find most enchanting. I cannot say that one is "better" than the other, just different. As the Spanish expression has it, "For the [different] tastes, [there are] the [different] colors". Para los gustos, los colores. I happen to like all colors, some on one occasion, some on others.

    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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  8. #5
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Song Inside

    Very nice again. The clarity of that Embergher is frightening. There is no place for a performer to hide!

  9. #6

    Default Re: The Song Inside

    Ah, yes... that lucid, crystalline tone is what makes Emberghers the gems they are.
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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