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Thread: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

  1. #1
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Edit: Tröster not Koster!! Can someone edit the thread title, please?

    This recording of Jiro Nikano's solo mandolin music might not be news to anyone here, but for me it is a revelation. I'd read the composer's name somewhere, and found this recording on Amazon. I'd describe him as classical-romantic, with occasional modern touches. These are very beautiful pieces, great solo mandolin music.

    And Gertrud Tröster is a knew name to me. Turns out she is a superb performer and interpreter. Very sensitive playing, not brash at all. I liked her playing so much I also bought her recording of the ten preludes by Calace. More revelations! I'm having a lot of mandolin revelations these days! Why is Calace not known outside of the mandolin world? I suppose he didn't write much outside of that world. He seems a very fine composer, who must have had a ridiculous technique!

    Well, I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for these two recordings by a very fine performer. I can't imagine ever playing compositions of this technical level, but it's great to be able to listen to them. Any recommendations for "relatively easy to intermediate" compositions by either composer?

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    Default Re: Gertrud Köster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Hi Rob,

    The two recordings you mention are, in my opinion, among the very best and most important ever made of classical mandolin. The Calace is the most important, again in my opinion. There have been other excellent Calace recordings since then (e.g. Julien Martineau, Detlef Tewes) but I personally listen most to the Troester.

    Nakano's music for mandolin was heavily influenced by Calace, whom he knew personally (Calace visited Japan in the 1920s, Nakano was among the Japanese players who met with him). All of Nakano's solo music is difficult. It is in print, edited by Troester, published by Vogt & Fritz (so you would order it through edition49.de).

    The Calace preludes are the height of the romantic repertoire for solo mandolin. I think of them as the compositional equivalent of (Augustin) Barrios for the mandolin. The easiest is still advanced/professional level. Prelude Nr. 2 has been the most commonly played; it or Nrs 1, 5, 10 are in the repertoires of most professional players (I've played Nr. 2 and Nr. 15, also frequently played, in public). Calace, however, wrote many intermediate level solo pieces (and a few easier than intermediate). "Piccola Gavotta" is probably the most popular of these (and a little more difficult than intermediate but much easier than the preludes). All of Calace's music is PD in its original form; there are excellent modern editions that I am happy to recommend if you are interested.
    Robert A. Margo

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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    It's worth mentioning that she now performs and records as Gertrud Weyhofen. She's the best classical mandolinist I know about.

  6. #4
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Ah, she got divorced, and or married to someone else?

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    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    If you are interested in more Calace recordings, I posted this on this forum a few weeks ago:

    A while ago I started a project to create a Calace discography. I've completed it as far as I'm willing to take it for now. It includes 170 tracks found on items in Amazon (U.S. and international iterations), Spotify, Presto Classical, and on CDs in my own collection.

    It's available for viewing in Dropbox here.

    And you might enjoy this playlist on Youtube.

    Joe

  8. #6
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Cheers, Joe. The YouTube playlist will suffice.

    Rob

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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    I love these recordings, especially the Calace. She delivers the Nakano repertoire with her customary skill, but I'm simply a little less fond of Nakano's solos than Calace's. I also like the sound of the Calace mandolin on the former better. Of course, Gertrud (both as Tröster/Troester and Weyhofen) has a somewhat prolific discography among classical mandolinists. She was half (the other half being her ex) of Duo Capriccioso (releasing six or seven albums—depending on how you classify the concerto album next mentioned—on the Thorofon label as well). She recorded with more substantial ensembles on Herbert Baumann: Three Concertos and Carnevale di Mandolino. I'm a fan of her period-instrument recording, Musique pour les Fętes Galantes. The solo album Piccola Musica is fun, but finds less frequent play in my own library than the others discussed.

    Also, look into Alison Stephens who recorded exclusively using an Embergher. Highlights of her recorded catalogue are, for me, her solo album Con Espressione; her early recording of chamber music, called simply Music for Mandolin; Tapestry with Duo Mandala; her recording of the Calace concerti (with piano accompaniment); and her recording of the Hummel concerto (with the London Mozart Players). The couple she did with guitarist Craig Ogden were popular (especially the first), but are albums that find me visiting less frequently than these others.

    There are a handful of other solo recordings that I visit with some frequency, but don't want to drag this thread too far from the rails on which it began.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bartl View Post
    If you are interested in more Calace recordings, I posted this on this forum a few weeks ago:

    A while ago I started a project to create a Calace discography. I've completed it as far as I'm willing to take it for now. It includes 170 tracks found on items in Amazon (U.S. and international iterations), Spotify, Presto Classical, and on CDs in my own collection.
    I'm sorry, Joe. I'll eventually get around to adding some stuff.

    . . . I hope.
    Last edited by Eugene; May-26-2020 at 6:00pm.

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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Ah, she got divorced, and or married to someone else?
    Maiden name. She was also credited as Weyhofen on the first volume of the Duo Capriccioso albums.

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  13. #9
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Any information on who made her mandolins on the Calace and Nakano albums?

  14. #10

    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    Calace himself (1906) on the Calace. Klaus Knorr on the Nakano.

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  16. #11

    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    I also agree with Robert's sentiments above, of course. I'll add that hearing Gertrud's recording of the Calace preludes—which I think I first obtained in '99 or so after some digging through distirbutor catalogues and custom ordering at a local record store (Media Play, I believe)—was a revelation for me: such satisfyingly full-voiced, richly harmonic, high-romantic music as solos executed with only single plectrum applied to a soprano-voiced instrument. Amazing.

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  18. #12

    Default Re: Gertrud Tröster - Jiro Nakano - Calace

    I think I've listened to Tröster's Nakano album three times in the last two days! Truly amazing. I think I'm going to try learning Drei Studien (as they are seemingly the most approachable of these pieces).
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