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Mandolin Mondays #411 w/ Special Guest Mike Marshall

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Back on Mandolin Mondays this week, the inimitable Mike Marshall joins us, fresh off the release of his new album of J.S. Bach's Cello Suite #5. Here he shares his rendition of the "Gigue" from Suite #5 played on his legendary Monteleone Mandocello.

To celebrate the release of this new record, here's a special word from Mike about this video,

"Hereís the Gigue from Bachís Cello Suite #5. What a journey it has been to lose myself in these Bach Cello Suites for the past 5 years.I began working on them at the beginning of the pandemic 2019 and spent about a year on each suite. Iím up to Suite 5 now. And you can hear them all on my Bandcamp page here:

Each suite is written in a different key and has 6 movements. Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Bourees or Gavottes and a Gigue to end. The classic Baroque dance forms. To study Bachís musical language, his soulfulness, his playfulness, his seemingly endless creative genius, is to experience a musical expressiveness and freedom that seems to know no bounds.

It is an endless well of musical enjoyment, inspiration and deep study. Going backwards in time 375 years and trying to understand what this man was feeling and wishing for in his music has been a joy but also an intense challenge intellectually, musically and physically. I was pushed to my limit on my instrument and yet when I put in the time and looked at the music from every possible angle, I would eventually find some little secret that would make the difficult passage fall naturally onto the instrument and it would resonate with clarity and rightness. I would usually get the feeling that Bach knew this and was maybe even chuckling back through time there a bit.

For this 5 th Suite, Bach asks you to tune your 1 st (A) string down to G but you read the music as if itís tuned to an A. Scordatura was the name for this Baroque era technique. I did this and so much enjoyed how the resonance was so nice for the key of Cm.

Thank you for listening." ~ MM

As always, tune in next week for more Mandolin Mondays! Until then...

Happy Picking!

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  1. tmsweeney's Avatar
    Sweet Brontosaurus Mando Bass in the background there!
  2.'s Avatar
    These [MM's Bach cello suites] are all great. (I have the first 3, #s 4 & 5 are in my cart, along with a few other mando-centric items, waiting for Bandcamp Friday )
  3. cayuga red's Avatar
  4. Leester's Avatar
    Wonderfully done. Thank you for learning this and sharing it with us!
  5. Joe Bartl's Avatar
    Great performance! Thanks for the lesson in scordatura. And thanks for the lesson in establishing multiple voices via pick angle and picking at various distances from the bridge. And thanks for showing and sounding this Monte up close and personal.
  6. William Smith's Avatar
  7. Delaware's Avatar
    I remember a YouTube video of Chris Thile on a Mandocello at Carter Vintage playing the Cello Suites and saying how cool it would be to cover them on a mandocello. I always wanted to hear that so thanks Mike for making my dream come true

    Link for the curious