Mauro concert blurb etc

Our next concert is at St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, Cambridge CB2 3AR in Cambridge on 7th December. A special day of mandolin music in Cambridge! The Moonlight Mandolin Orchestra introduces:

  • (from 2 pm) Masterclass on classical mandolin with Mauro Squillante
  • (from 2 pm) Workshop on improvisation with Gaio Ariani and Valerio Fusillo
  • (from 8 pm) Concert by the Moonlight Mandolin Orchestra, to include a performance of Domenico Scarlatti’s Concerto Grosso 3, with Mauro Squillante, Gaio Ariani and Valerio Fusillo as soloists
  • UK Premier of “Dark Side of the Mandolin”, the mandolin version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, adapted and played by Mauro Squillante, Gaio Ariani and Valerio Fusillo

Mauro is a specialist in early plucked instruments, researching repertoire, organology, and performing techniques. He has a busy concert schedule in Italy and abroad, collaborating with a number of early music orchestras and well-established conductors, and has recorded on several labels. He is President of the Accademia Mandolinistica Napoletana, the Mandolin Academy of Naples originally established by Rafael Calace, where he also teaches. He runs a Summer School and Mandolin Festival in Avigliano, southern Italy, holds regular masterclasses at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, and holds the Chair of Mandolin at the Conservatoire of Salerno. 

The second half of the concert will be the UK premier of the Pink Floyd tribute, “Dark Side of the Mandolin”.  Mauro, Gaio and Valerio will play their version of the iconic 1970s rock masterpiece “Dark Side of the Moon”, thought by some critics to be the greatest album of all time. As many of you will know, three of the original Pink Floyd members grew up in Cambridge, so it is particularly appropriate that the UK premier of this exciting piece is taking place so close to Pink Floyd’s original roots.

The achievement of this classic trio of mandocello, mandola and mandolin is to reproduce the effects and sounds that were created by synthesisers and electronic equipment on the original Pink Floyd album.  The performance is not only a tour de force of mandolin technique, but is unique, fun, and with a hint of irony, and not to be missed.

Click here to view/download a poster for the event.

Click here for the enrolment form for workshops (book early to avoid disappointment!)

Click here for advance booking for the concert. Full price £12; concessions (available on the door only) £10.

What sort of time commitment is involved?

We meet on Thursday evenings, from 8.00 – 10.00 pm, fortnightly during term time (all the dates are in the calendar). In addition we would obviously ask each player to put in a reasonable amount of individual practice time between rehearsals, to master the notes and rhythms so that when we meet, we are able to focus on playing together rather than learning our notes.

As each term’s activities lead towards a concert, it is important that members attend regularly so that everyone is up to speed by the time of the concert. If you get busy and have to miss more than one rehearsal in a term, we’d just ask you to check with the Musical Director that it is still OK for you to play in the concert.

Do I need to be able to read music?

You do need to be comfortable with stave notation. If you are a folk player, and more used to working by ear or from tablature, this may seem quite daunting – and you may need to put in some hours in the woodshed. (Actually you might need to come OUT of your woodshed for this bit, and head into your study). But as long as you come along with some basic knowledge and experience of the stave, you would be surprised how quickly you can pick up the rest once you are practising and rehearsing regularly. Ask some of our members who have done just that.

I am a fairly basic player, and am not sure if I am good enough to join

The MMO caters for a wide range of abilities and it is not necessary to be an advanced player in order to join. The group’s players have quite diverse musical backgrounds – for example some have learned mandolin as their first and main instrument, some are classical violinists who have taken up mandolin, others are folk players who have become interested in orchestral playing, and learned the necessary skills “on the job”.

I’ve got an old mandolin that my aunt kept in her attic for 40 years. Will it do?

It could of course be a fantastic instrument, and in wonderful condition. However, all that glitters is not gold, and it is also quite possibly

a) knocked out on the cheap for the Italian tourist trade, and

b) badly warped !

Even the quality turns out to disappoint, it might give you a start, and if you decide you want to stick at it and develop your mandolin playing, then members of the group will be very happy to advise you on where to find a decent instrument without breaking the bank. You may even find someone has an instrument for sale from time to time.

Do I need to join for a whole year?

Obviously it is better for the group if you are able to come every term – there is a certain amount of time and communal effort involved in learning to play together, and it helps if there is not too much coming and going.

But of course there are times when a player will need to take some time out for whatever reason. This is not a problem, and you can simply rejoin the following term.

When is the best time to join?

Each term, we start work on a new concert  programme, leading up to a performance at the end of the term. If you are a new player, why don’t you come along to our next concert and hear us play – and if you are inspired by what you hear, then you could come and join us at the beginning of the next term.

Por una cabeza (Carlos Gardel arr. Valdo Preema)

Purchased music –  please get your part from the repertoire committee.

About the piece, and links to performances

Practice notes

M1, M2 and Mla: I have marked in quite a bit of tremolo – certainly a lot more than when we played it before.

M1: you have a very tricky passage bars 42 – 49. Write yourself in a reliable fingering and work hard at it.

M1 and M2: the octaves are played divisi and please arrange as early as possible who is playing which notes.

M2 and Mla: practice G minor scale like mad, starting on each scale degree in turn!

Suite No. 6 fuer Zupforchester (Hermann Ambrosius)

Purchased music –  please get your part from the repertoire committee.

Click here for information about the piece, and links to performances

Practice notes

Praeludium – Lots of long tremolo notes in the upper parts – these should be ever so slightly detached so each note starts with a new attack,

Menuett – all watch out for rits. and a final rall. Mandolas have a nice melody passage – we need three of you on this part when you divide.

Sarabande – mandola solo passage again – same comment as for Menuett.

Diavitirio (Greek – trad. or composer unknown)

Our arrangement

Pdfs of the score and individual parts are in our Shared Music folder. You can also see (and hear) the whole piece on Noteflight below. The Noteflight widget sometimes takes a little while to load, but you should then find a Play symbol at top left if you want to hear a digital performance. 


About the piece, and links to performances

Practice Pointers

This piece is really straightforward – apart from being in 5/8! As with any irregular metre, the groups of short notes are easy; the longer notes are the ones more likely to cause problems if your counting is not rock-solid.

The safest (and possibly the best) way to pick this piece is Continue reading