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Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana

By Mandolin Cafe
August 31, 2012 - 7:30 am

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Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana

Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana

The Modern Mandolin Quartet returns after an extended recording absence with their strongest and most impressive release to date, Americana, a remarkable collection of compositions that reflect the American spirit.

The recording comes with two discs, a Blu Ray Audio disc and standard CD.

Formed in 1985, the Modern Mandolin Quartet gives a new voice to that most American of musical instruments, the mandolin. Following the tradition of the mandolin orchestras and chamber groups from the early twentieth century, the MMQ uses the instruments of the mandolin family which correspond to the conventional string quartet (two mandolins, mandola, and mandocello).

MMQ members include Dana Rath and Matt Flinner (mandolins), Paul Binkley (mandola), and Adam Roszkiewicz (mandocello).

1. "Hoe-Down," from Rodeo - Aaron Copland
String Quartet No. 12 in F, Op. 96, B. 179, ("The American") - Antonin Dvorák
2. I. Allegro ma non troppo
3. II. Lento
4. III. Molto vivace
5. IV. Finale: Vivace, ma non troppo
6. "Cool," from West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein
7. Shenandoah
Three Preludes - George Gershwin
8. Prelude I: Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
9. Prelude II: Andante con moto e poco rubato
10. Prelude III: Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
11. Bill Monroe Medley - William Monroe
Philip Glass: from String Quartet No.3 "Mishima"
12. I. 1957 - Award Montage
13. II. November 25 - Ichigaya
14. III. 1962 - Body Building
15. IV. Mishima/Closing
16. Irish Roots Medley

Additional information:
Purchase: From Elderly
Purchase: From iTunes
Purchase: From amazon


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Reader Comments

August 31, 2012 08:22 AM
They had me at Phillip Glass 'Mishima' suite... one of my favourite soundtracks from Mr. Glass, it will be interesting to see what they can do with it.
Scott Tichenor
August 31, 2012 08:40 AM
I received a preview copy some time ago and can say without hesitation that it's a stunning recording. The arranging is as good as the playing. Hits on all cylinders. Right now this gets my vote for the finest mandolin recording of 2012, hands down.
August 31, 2012 10:22 AM
Is the arrangement of "Cool" the same one as they did many years ago on Intermezzo? Everything else seems new - I can't wait to hear the Dvorak! Also, is there a non-iTunes source for digital copies?
PJ Doland
August 31, 2012 11:38 AM
Glass's Mishima on an album called "Americana"?

That's precious.
Scott Tichenor
August 31, 2012 11:50 AM
Quote from Ken_P: Is the arrangement of "Cool" the same one as they did many years ago on Intermezzo? Everything else seems new - I can't wait to hear the Dvorak! Also, is there a non-iTunes source for digital copies? End Quote

Intermezzo was recorded in 1990 with Mike Marshall on mandolin I believe. Since this recording lists for this piece - P. Binkley, M. Flinner, D. Rath and a. Roszkiewicz as arrangers and Mike Marshall does not appear on the recording I'd say that's your answer. This information is from iTunes. I don't have any further secret information or where else it might appear. I typically only link to amazon and iTunes because they're reliable and the addresses never change, or if they do, they forward correctly. Something that can be said about few sites. Wasn't available at Elderly at the time of this publication.
August 31, 2012 04:21 PM
Quote from PJ Doland: Glass's Mishima on an album called "Americana"?

That's precious. End Quote

It certainly is...

but then so is having a suite from Dvorak, but i think both certainly hang under an Americana theme.

I suppose the choice of the soundtrack from Paul Schrader's 'Mishima' does seem a bit odd (especially as, now that i look the tracks i don't think there are any which represent the surf-guitar numbers such as 'Kyoko's House' which might have been my first stop for a mandolin piece) but then choice of materials seem to suggest that the Americana in question here is a real multi-cultural one.

Given Dvorak's interest in developing an american classical canon as a start, then Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin, and Monroe and rounding up with Glass' film soundtrack its a compelling arc - each in their own way have contributed something unique, and uniquely American to music, Mr. Glass and film soundtracks are arguably the best exemplars of a readily recognizable American classical sound/form today?

Its all very arguable but i am still intrigued by this album.
August 31, 2012 04:30 PM
Without hearing it yet, I'm loving the thoughtfulness behind the selections. This really needs to be a quadruple disc set, as there are so many arcs to be drawn between Copland and old-time tunes, especially, of course, Bonapart's Retreat, as well as the less obvious ones. You could do a cd of nothing but songs titled "Hoedown" from this to Oliver Nelson's, and so on. Copland's music scores for movies would fill it's own cd. I'd give anything to hear an all-mandolin version of the overture to the "Red Pony." Anyway, time to get a copy.
August 31, 2012 08:35 PM
September 02, 2012 05:10 PM
I just downloaded the album on Itunes and I recommend it. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. I've been playing Hoedown on fiddle for years, and I was just starting to play it on mandolin. NOW, I am inspired!
September 04, 2012 07:33 AM
Read up on Mishima. He would've been the last guy in the world to endorse "muticulturalism".
Scott Tichenor
December 06, 2012 11:48 AM
This recording just received a Grammy nomination. Well deserved! My congratulations to the quartet.
December 08, 2012 01:31 PM
I had already downloaded this on MOG and was loving it already. Will be acquiring a permanent copy.
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