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Thread: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

  1. #26

    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Ah, my friend... life is full of such frustrated hopes! The symphonic world may in fact be a particularly (if also ironically) dry patch :-(

    Fortunately we have the Café, where kindred spirits can and do meet, each and every day :-)

    Cheers,

    Victor
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  2. #27
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Woo hoo! Just got a Mahler 7 gig for Sunday! Good thing I'm not afraid to play in six flats.
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  3. #28
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Excellent, Martin. Have fun!

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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire


  5. #30
    Registered User Plamen Ivanov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    I think this video fits the thread very well. It is actually a concerto per molti strumenti and not per mandolini though. I'm also not sure whether the mandolins used and the art of playing are historically accurate. May be the question will be discussed in the thread that Margriet just opened. Nice video though...

    Last edited by Plamen Ivanov; Jul-15-2010 at 7:35am.

  6. #31
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    "Bravi, ragazzi" indeed. That is terrific. Thank you, Plamen.

  7. #32
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Style question for Martin, do you play the Mahler eighth notes short or long, i.e. staccato or legato? I like short, to match the other instruments like the horn, but I watched a video of Berlin doing it and the guy was letting the notes ring. I found it unconvincing. Also, he was playing a bowl back with some light pick and I couldn't hear him. Bang away, friend.

  8. #33
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    On the Vivaldi, thanks for the video, but wtf is the foil on the violin bridges? Must be some attempt to sound like baroque instruments without having to string them with gut E strings that die in a couple of weeks.

    I admit to a curmudgeonly attitude regarding performance practice, since most composers seemed to always be trying the new thing, whether it was the new, powerful Italian violin family under Vivaldi, or trombones in Mozart, or the well-tempered klavier.

    We are doing Mozart Operas in a small, 800-seat theater, supposedly because it is more historically accurate. Bets Mozart would be really pissed to hear he was canned from the big house to play the little joint. Where's the money in that?

  9. #34
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Style question for Martin, do you play the Mahler eighth notes short or long, i.e. staccato or legato?
    Well, I attended my first rehearsal last night and I think the answer is that I will play them as legato as possible, i.e., leave the fingers on the left hand pressed down throughout. I will also play the eighth notes using as many downstrokes as I can, since I am having to crank the dynamics up a couple of notches in hopes of being heard, and loud downstrokes are easier to control than loud upstrokes. I may use some upstrokes for crosspicking. I've been asked to tremolo the quarter notes as well. I'm using a nice heavy Wegen Gypsy Jazz pick.

    The conductor and I discussed whether to use a microphone, and he's all for it if it's necessary. But the piccolo player was sitting out in the audience and said she could hear me. At dress rehearsal we'll be in the performance hall and can test whether I'm audible or not.

    I brought a Rigel R100, a 1924 A2Z and a 1924 A4 snakehead to the rehearsal. The Rigel ranks first for playability but I think the A4 is a little louder, and it's almost as easy to play as the Rigel.
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  10. #35
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    May you get a solo bow. Enjoy. (Which orchestra?)

    Mando doesn't need a mike in that piece, but unless the guitar digs in with thumb he would benefit from one.

    Longer ringing does add up to more sound, I guess. But then again, Barenboim never complained about short, although he did ask for the tremolos to be "cheeky", rather forward. Boulez said nada, and we got a nice review mention in NY, as highly audible. Reviewer credited our location at stage right, front edge but behind violins. Like that matters to a listener 75 feet away. I credit our manly, macho tone.
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  11. #36
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Well, both the guitarist and I had SM57 mics for the performance ... mine was really cranked, too. I was told afterward that people still had trouble hearing the guitarist.

    We sat just downstage of the harps, behind the first violins but not close to the edge of the stage ... a good 15-20 feet inside the shell.

    Here's information about the orchestra:

    http://nwmahlerfestival.org/

    No solo bow (those would happen after the 5th mvmt; I had gone backstage and the guitarist had already left the building), but I was listed as a section principal!
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  12. #37
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    We are doing Mozart Operas in a small, 800-seat theater, supposedly because it is more historically accurate.
    When it comes to Mozart, people seem to cite historical accuracy when it's convenient and forget it when it's not. Do you also have powdered wigs, basset horns, and a fortepiano?
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  13. #38
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    On the Vivaldi, thanks for the video, but wtf is the foil on the violin bridges? Must be some attempt to sound like baroque instruments without having to string them with gut E strings that die in a couple of weeks.
    May also serve to mute them so that the violinists can really tear into it like they're doing and not overwhelm the Lombardian mandolins. (Yes, those are historically accurate AFAIK. Six courses, tuned GBEADG.)
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  14. #39

    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    I don't know if you would consider it "major" orchestral repertoire, but there's a mandolin solo with voice in the last bit of Delibes' Le Roi s'amuse, 6 airs de danse dans le style ancien.

  15. #40
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Probably another example of mandolin used in "not very major" orchestra repertoire: I see the Calgary Symphony has programmed for a concert next week a work by Frank Zappa called Revised Music for Low Budget Symphony Orchestra. From the publisher's description, it lasts 8 minutes uses a pretty odd assortment of instruments, listed as follows:

    Instrumentation 1(afl).1(ca).1.bcl(tsax).1-1.1.flugelhn.1.1-3perc(perc1: vib, b.d, tom-t, s.d, cym, wdbl. perc2: drum set, cow bell, car horn. perc3: mar, cym, s.d, cow bell, bng, gong, b.d, chime tree, jaw bone, slapstick, tempbl)-egtr.ebgtr.mand.hp.pno-2vn(elec vn).2va.2vc

    It's a new one to me. Has anyone heard of this one before? Can be heard on Youtube, by the way, but you won't hear much mandolin.

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  17. #41
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin in major orchestra repertoire

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Clausen View Post
    Probably another example of mandolin used in "not very major" orchestra repertoire: I see the Calgary Symphony has programmed for a concert next week a work by Frank Zappa called Revised Music for Low Budget Symphony Orchestra. From the publisher's description, it lasts 8 minutes uses a pretty odd assortment of instruments, listed as follows:

    Instrumentation 1(afl).1(ca).1.bcl(tsax).1-1.1.flugelhn.1.1-3perc(perc1: vib, b.d, tom-t, s.d, cym, wdbl. perc2: drum set, cow bell, car horn. perc3: mar, cym, s.d, cow bell, bng, gong, b.d, chime tree, jaw bone, slapstick, tempbl)-egtr.ebgtr.mand.hp.pno-2vn(elec vn).2va.2vc

    It's a new one to me. Has anyone heard of this one before? Can be heard on Youtube, by the way, but you won't hear much mandolin.
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