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Thread: Gervasio sonatas

  1. #1

    Default Gervasio sonatas

    G. B. Gervasio (ca.1725–after 1786) is most famous for having written the earliest extant method book for Neapolitan mandolin (i.e., modern tuning/stringing). Six of his multi-movement sonatas for solo mandolin and basso continuo have also survived (four of the six in the key of D). Weirdly, the Italian label Tactus released two complete, period-instrument recordings of the sonatas in 2019: Sergio Zigiotti accompanied by the diverse instrumentation of the Inchordis Ensemble (TC 720701) and Marco Giacintucci accompanied by Walter D'Arcangelo on harpsichord (TC 720702: which claims to be the first complete recording in spite of its sequentially later catalog number). I suspect neither artist knew the other was recording this body of work . . . for release by the same record label. Weird.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas

    I reviewed the Giacintucci-D'archangelo recording very positively a few issues ago in the CMSA Mandolin Journal, a very fine recording. I had the Inchordis recording on the "to do" list to review and thought I had done it but just checked -- and, nope, haven't written the review (slipped my mind). But also a very fine recording. I wouldn't say they are perfect substitutes for each other, however, a collector or a specialist in 18th century Neapolitan mandolin would want both, in my opinion. I agree, though, that the timing of the two releases is not optimal for sales, being so close together.
    Robert A. Margo

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    Eugene 

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    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas

    Intrigued by the basso continuo part; probably not period-authentic (?) but might fit my mandocello. Is sheet music published?
    [edited 5 minutes later:] I should have searched before asking. Found source, will order--thanks for the new information.

  6. #4

    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas

    Enjoy, Jim! I'm interested in your thoughts after you've dabbled.

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    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas


    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress

  8. #6

    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas

    My pleasure.

    Check out the scalar and arpeggio passages that begin around 30 seconds in, build to a series of ascending parallel phrases, and culminate in a forte chordal passage over a rapid D pedal by 0:49:




    The beginning of the pedal isn't so easy to hear clearly on low brass strings in ensemble, so check Sebastiaan's modern-instrument performance for good visuals of how it's done as well:

    Last edited by Eugene; Aug-26-2020 at 3:50pm.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Gervasio sonatas

    Quote Originally Posted by margora View Post
    I agree, though, that the timing of the two releases is not optimal for sales, being so close together.
    Only one catalog serial removed from each other as though they were released immediately one after the other! Weird.

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