Reginella (Neapolitan song)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Neapolitan songs and mandolin music are a natural connection. Here is another one I have recorded, Reginella. As usual for the genre, you can find online versions by many Italian singers, including major opera singers.

    This wistful Neapolitan song in waltz time was written in 1917 by Libero Bovio (lyrics) and Gaetano Lama (music). This arrangement for mandolins is from our repertoire folder. I have pared it down somewhat to suit my home recording setup (omitting second mandolin and mandola parts).

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  2. Brian560
    Perfetto !
  3. Frithjof
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A performance which really brings out the amazing affinity of the mandolin and Neapolitan music. Such an evocative sound, and I love the pause you bring in around 48 seconds and again later - Just lets the listener pause and catch a breath.
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Brian, Frithjof and John! This is one of the Italian pieces that was already in our repertoire folder from long before I joined -- I suspect the arrangement is by the late Tony Judge. Nothing fancy, but letting the song melody speak for itself.

    The pause separating the strict tempo verse from the lyrical rubato refrain with its call-and-response structure is what makes the piece work.

  6. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well done Martin I like that you’ve played this very difficult tune in a delicate way. Beautifully played.

    (my subjective impressions again)
    It appears to be difficult tune to play because I think a lot of the hesitations are based on the sense and power or passion of the words used. Here’s a full-on example, the singer really goes for it, tempo all over the place, but he occasionally comes back after silence exactly in overall time to give the whole piece a strong structure. This is a classic.
    Here’s another where the singer keeps more to the waltz tempo, is unsure of his support from the orchestra and is therefore not quite as passionate in some parts where he perhaps he could be.
    OOOPS! posted the wrong one
    This is the one I was talking about:
  7. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    I enjoyed it a lot.
  8. Christian DP
    Christian DP
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Trop bien, magnifique!

    Martin could kindly post the notation for this, please? Muchas gracias, amigo.
  10. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, all! I've uploaded the score for our arrangement here. This has parts for Mandolin 1(A), Mandolin 1(B), Mandolin 2, Mandola (Octave) and Guitar. However, for my recording I haven't played the Mandolin 2 and Mandola parts at all, and only those parts of the M1(B) part that differ from the M1(A).

    Simon: I think both of those performances you've posted are actually by the same singer, Roberto Murolo. He was particularly associated with this song and recorded it several times, but he didn't write it, nor was he the original performer. I think this is his canonical recording, with a simple guitar backing.

    A few more:

    Here is a 1970s (?) live TV performance by Massimo Ranieri.
    Here is a film scene from the 2017 Andrea Bocelli biopic "The Music of Silence", featuring an audition performance of Reginella by the boy actor depicting the young Bocelli.
    Here is a jazz version by two Neapolitan musicians on clarinet and piano.
    For the full operatic experience, here is Placido Domingo, although I don't think he quite gets the mood of the song: I'm not sure his voice goes naturally with guitar and accordion.

  11. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Martin. Now I’ve posted the vid I was actually talking about -yes, it was the Ranieri version.
    I like the version you’ve posted of him playing the classical guitar.

    Placido plays the guitar a bit clean and technical, detached and almost happy, like a divorce he’s got over.
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