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Thread: New mandolin cd's of note

  1. #1
    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hello All,


    Last week I received a brand new Mandolin/Guitar CD that I think deserves some attention here.

    The recorded musicians are the mandolinist Tove Flensborg and the guitarist Kristian Kristian Buhl-Mortensen.
    Both musicians are from Denmark and active as performers and professors of their instruments in and around Kopenhagen. The CD is titled simply as “Duets for Mandolin and Guitar” and recorded are 16 duets by Danish composers.
    The first 13 are originally written for the mandolin and guitar, while the last 3 are originally scored for violin and piano by Fini Henriques, a composer of whom also two other compositions are included on this CD. Other composers are Søffren Degen and Frederik and Henrik Rung.

    What, listening to the CD, first strikes the ear is the sheer beauty of the recorded sound and the fine and delicate way the guitarist of the duo accompanies the mandolinist. Both used instruments, a beautiful 1915 Luigi Embergher model No.4 and a José Ramiréz model 1 concert guitar build in 1972, go really well together and invite, so to speak, to listen.
    The music itself is in several ways of interest; first of all because it is beautiful music composed in a romantic style and secondly because it reveals a Danish history of the mandolin that goes back to 1871, the year written on the manuscript of the “Duetti per Mandolino composte da Enrico Rung e Federigo Rung”.


    Henrik Rung (1807-1871), Frederik’s father, had learned to play the mandolin in Italy after 1837, an important period of years in which he became interested in Italian music. Especially the often mentioned 'Italian flavour' in Henrik's many songs is something that certainly is heard in these duos. A style also he passed on to his son Frederic Rung (1854-1914) as is immediately noticeable in the 8 duos both Henrik and Frederik composed.
    These duos are recorded in their original chonological order and also appear in an alternating order. Almost, perhaps even intended, as if both men answered to each other with a new mandolin - guitar duet.

    Their music is written in a Romantic style in a very idiomatic manner for both the mandolin and the guitar. Especially the accompanying parts for the guitar show with interesting chord progressions, position playing and melody handling, great understanding of the instrument’s possibilities. The mandolin on the other hand is treated wonderfully as the singing voice in these duos and only heard occasionally with chords and arpeggios in an accompanying role.


    The 2nd composer on this CD is Søffren Degen (1816-1885), an artist who was known as a professional violoncellist, guitarist, and actor, and – later in his life – as one of the first photographers in Denmark. Only a set of three compositions (0p. 15) for mandolin (or violin or flute) and guitar are known to have been written by Degen.
    Unfortunately the complete guitar part is lost, but since the wonderful quality of the part for the mandolin mr. Kristian Buhl-Mortensen has composed and reconstructed a new accompanying guitar part. For this purpose fortunately quite a number of Degen's chamber music works with guitar ànd other instruments have survived that could be studied. The result is an excellent guitar part very much in the style of Søffren Degen himself.
    Something because of the scarcity of original music for mandolin and guitar of this period, mandolinists today can only be very thankful for.

    The first composition of Degen's “Trois pieces pour Mandoline, Violine ou Flute…” is titled ‘Andante legato’ and starts of with a grotesque openings fraze that develops into a solid composition, always charming and full of expression.
    This is followed by the ‘Mazurk Scandinavie’, a wonderful work quite contrasting to the previous Degen composition. A mazurka also less lyrical but with much more straight forwardness. The last work by Degen, a ‘Polonaise’, is again a lengthy work with a more lyrical and fluent character.


    About the third and last composer, Fini Henriques, not much is known. Except – as is mentioned in the informative CD booklet – for the fact Fini Henriques studied the violin under the guidance of the well-known violinists/composers Johan Svendsen and Joseph Joachim. Around 1900 Henriques was one of the most respected and successful Danish violinists of his time. A time in which he became also known as a composer.
    Both the ‘Valse – Serenade’ and the ‘Valse – Grazioso’ Op. 36 are composed originally for mandolin and guitar and both pieces are real gems for this combination.
    Especially the ‘Valsa – Serenade’ is a beautiful work with unexpected nice and very effective harmonies in the guitar part. Again the listener is immediately taken by the wonderful and sensitive manner in which both musicians work together. Especially the very fine and excellent executed tremolo Tove Flensborg brings forth from her mandolin is exceptional and a delight to listen too!
    The CD is concluded with three beautiful arrangements by the guitarist of this duo, of pieces originally written for violin and piano by Henriques.


    All in all a very notable CD of which most of the compositions are first recordings. Important as a document also since it gives insight in interesting original music composed between ca. 1840 and ca. 1914, a period in which outside Italy relatively little music of value is known to have been written for this instrument combination.
    A highly recommended “must have” therefore, on which two excellent musicians are heard as a duo performing music of their home country. #


    Best,

    Alex



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  2. #2
    Mandogal Barb Friedland's Avatar
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    Alex,
    Where can this CD be purchased?
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  3. #3
    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hello Mandogal,


    This is what I found: the CD is brought out as: CLASSCD 759
    and a website is mentioned at the back of the booklet as:
    www.classicorecords.dk

    I haven't found the mandolin-guitar CD in their on-line catalogue yet, but that is perhaps due to the fact that it only has just been released.# Here is the fast link to their website.

    It can also be ordered by normal post through writing to the following address:

    Classico
    Noerregade 53
    1165 Copenhagen
    Denmark


    Best and success,

    Alex




  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Hi Alex:
    That is not the mandolin pictured on the cover that Tove plays on this one. That looks like a 5bis from later than 1915. Right?
    Jim

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  5. #5
    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    It is the mandolin heard on the record. You are probably confused with the fact that normally the Luigi Embergher Model No. 4 mandolins are applied with the flat 'guitar-like headstock' and very seldom seen with the 'hammer-head' (so to speak) found on for instance the 5-bis model. This special No.4 is in fact one of very few known to me and exact in line with the year 1915.

    At my Embergher website you can see both types of the model No.4 and the description that goes with this model.
    A model by the way that is in appearance more close to the Soloists and Artistic mandolin models by Embergher than to the 'orchestra' models inwhich it was catalogued by the Maestro himself.

    Here is the link to the Webpage of that site. Just scroll down to the bottom and there you'll see both of them.


    Best greetings,

    Alex




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