Troika (Wedding dance from "The Deer Hunter")

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    A troika is a traditional type of Russian folk dance, for groups of three (two women and one man). This particular troika was used in the wedding scene of the movie "The Deer Hunter" (link). My recording for two mandolins and tenor guitar is based on a setting for two violins from:

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A very evocative delivery here, Martin. I like your choice of instruments and the Vinaccia is sounding really great on this one. I had not known that the troika was also a folk dance for three people; I knew of the troika as a carriage or sleigh pulled by three horses.
  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John! I think the dance is named after the three-horse carriage configuration.
    Here is a teaching video in strict tempo that shows more clearly how the dance and the music fit together:

  4. gortnamona
    that's just class Martin , great sound and playing
  5. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Great recording. Martin. The two Vinnacias sound brillant and the tenor guitar gives a lot of drive, sounds a bit like a piano playing chords.
  6. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Sounds great, Martin. The harmonies really get the tune going along with the rhythm on the tenor guitar.
  7. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, folks. With Russian tunes, I usually find they sound best with a heavy quarter note rhythm, full chords on all beats in the bar equally, for that mood of inescapable doom...

  8. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Martin, I've always wanted to do Cavatina from Deer Hunter - but it would really need some tremolo - or a nice guitar like the YT versions. Even though the melody gets the attention, it is the guitar accompaniment who, I think works the hardest. (this may be a hint to see if you will play it?)
  9. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Ginny. I do have an arrangement of Cavatina for full mandolin orchestra (parts for two mandolins, mandola, guitar, mandocello and double bass) from the Nakano site, but would have to see if it can be scaled down to (say) a trio of two mandolins and tenor guitar. It's such a sparse tune that less is more, I think.

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