We had a really spectacular day of mandolin music at St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, Cambridge in Cambridge on 7th December 2019. We had the great pleasure and honour of introducing Mauro Squillante , Gaio Ariani and Valerio Fusillo from the Accademia Mandolinistica Napoletana (the trio is collectively known as “Mandol’in Progress”).
Our guests had arrived a couple of days earlier and we had a couple of very nice convivial evenings with them and a great rehearsal on the Friday night
On the Saturday, Mauro gave a series of masterclasses in classical mandolin technique, while Gaio and Valerio ran a workshop on free improvisation.
The MMO played the first half of the evening concert, featuring The Harry Lime Theme, The Grifters Theme, Two Guitars, Cantigas de Santa Maria, Kites by Mikis Theodorakis and another performance of Persephone by Bart Verstraeten (this time we had the honour of a visit from the composer himself from Antwerp – it was a great experience for the orchestra to meet him and we hope we will work together again).
We then performed Domenico Scarlatti’s Concerto Grosso 3 in D minor, with our Neapolitan guests as soloists.
In the 2nd half of the evening, Mandol’in Progress performed as a trio and completely captivated the audience with the UK premiere of “Dark Side of the Mandolin”, their mandolin version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. They managed to work in more or less every note from the original album – including all those synthesised passages and sound effects – on two mandolins and a liuto cantabile. At the end the audience sprang to their feet and gave them a lovely standing ovation – very well deserved!