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Victorian mandolin music – 2nd January 2014

November 11th, 2015. Posted in Music | No Comments »

2nd January and just feeling like it’s 2014… Happy New Year to you all!

Fellow mandolinist and historian of the instrument Paul Sparks has sent me this absorbing article on the ladies’ mandolin bands of the Victorian era. Click here to view the PDF complete with some impressive photos.

Paul has also performed much of the music, in particular that of Clara Ross. Here are some video clips of him with John Mackenzie (guitar):

l’Allegro (1895)

Air de Ballet (c. 1895)

Sancta Maria (1892)

Narcisse (1894)

Opening Track – 2nd December 2013

November 11th, 2015. Posted in Music | No Comments »

Hello all,

A first “proper” post on a new blog and, given that I’ve just got a new album out, the title “Opening Track” seemed appropriate… so here for all you mandolinists is the opening track on the new album The Art Of Mandolin. The Bolero by Raffaele Calace is a dramatic piece of late Victorian melodrama, or at least it would be if Victoria had been queen of Italy. Here in both standard notation and tablature is a PDF of the opening section – the hook! – and an MP3 to help you on your way.

This was recorded live with Hilary James on guitar and a bit of mandocello added in the studio afterwards.

Bolero is one of those pieces which is a little easier to play than it sounds, probably because it was written by a mandolinist. I love music like that, where everything seems to fall under the fingers so naturally. Must start writing more of the stuff myself!
Simon Mayor

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