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Thread: Mandocello compositions

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    Default Mandocello compositions

    These are pieces I wrote for CMSA Open Mic, 2020 and 2021, a mandocello solo and two quartets. They are a small part of the wealth of mandocello music I gathered from much more experienced composers and arrangers presented in a Mandocello in the 21st Century session. Feel free to contact me for some of the videos and sheet music shared with fellow mandocellists at CMSA 2021.

    The quartets are Clear Skies, completed last year just after the fires and smoke of that summer, and Mandocello Agitato, a slightly more complex and moody piece. I thank the CMSA mandocello players (listed in the videos) for bringing this music to life, and to Jeff Brumley for compiling the videos.

    The Goodin 'Nuff Blues was written to be a simple "Thank you" to John for a commissioned work we played at Oregon Mandolin Orchestra and for his Seasonal Suite for Mandocello. I had registered for the open mic and learned of his passing the next day. So it took on a different context and mood. He deserved something much deeper and more beautiful, but for now I hope this is goodin 'nuff.


    Goodin Nuff Blues


    Mandocello Agitato


    Clear Skies

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Thank you for sharing, Jim! I especially like Mandocello Agitato and the Goodin 'Nuff Blues.

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    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudia Amslinger View Post
    Thank you for sharing, Jim! I especially like Mandocello Agitato and the Goodin 'Nuff Blues.
    Thank you Claudia. When our orchestra played at Bruchsal Zupffest a few years ago, I saw almost no mandocellos--all guitars in the orchestras. What instrument do you have? My best is a 1912 Gibson K4, but for travel I have an inexpensive Thomann, I believe German made.
    I'll get the sheet music to you but please contact me at my home email:
    jfimhoff@msn.com

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Very nice pieces, Jim. Also interesting to compare tone of the various instruments. Am I right in thinking you have your K4 strung with the D'Addario mandocello set? There is a twang to the tone that my Suzuki (with TI flatwound strings) doesn't have.

    Martin

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    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Thanks Martin; the K4 is strung with Newtone custom bronze wound, the low C at .070. I don't know that the sound quality is true to live tone, I wouldn't judge it on this recording. And I try to get a variety of sounds out of it, especially to contrast the extreme range between the open C and G and the upper frets of the D and A.
    Jim

  9. #6

    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Thank you Claudia. When our orchestra played at Bruchsal Zupffest a few years ago, I saw almost no mandocellos--all guitars in the orchestras. What instrument do you have? My best is a 1912 Gibson K4, but for travel I have an inexpensive Thomann, I believe German made.
    I'll get the sheet music to you but please contact me at my home email:
    jfimhoff@msn.com
    Bruchsal was a great event. Yes, that's right, I also noticed that there were guitars in most of the orchestras, not mandocellos. So it was a great pleasure to see and listen to you with the Oregon mandolin orchestra with several - I think three (?) - mandocellos! I also remember the orchestra from Israel, who had a great mandocello player with them. They performed a piece where the mandocello had one or even the main part. Very impressive.
    Gibson K4s are wonderful instruments! Mine is a 2010 Weber F-4 mandocello with oval hole, a fine instrument that I enjoy very much.
    Thanks in advance for the sheet music, Jim, I will contact you at your home email.

  10. #7
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Thanks Martin; the K4 is strung with Newtone custom bronze wound, the low C at .070. I don't know that the sound quality is true to live tone, I wouldn't judge it on this recording. And I try to get a variety of sounds out of it, especially to contrast the extreme range between the open C and G and the upper frets of the D and A.
    Jim
    Thanks, Jim. Don't get me wrong -- I like the tone of bronze wound strings, and I have them on all my instruments except the mandocello. When I got mine, it was strung with TI strings and I was struggling to get a strong tone out of it. It all sounded rather muted and dull. So, I changed to the D'Addario mandocello set, which had a much brighter tone. However, I now couldn't control the buzz on the C and G strings. Clearly, you don't have that problem as all your notes ring out clear and true.

    In the end, I went back to the TI strings and after much trial and error settled on a particular pick that gives me brightness and volume from the flatwounds -- a thick large Jim Dunlop "Stubby" triangle pick with sharp points (not rounded) in clear stiff plastic. Sounds terrible on my other instruments, but just right on the mandocello.

    Martin

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    Default Re: Mandocello compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudia Amslinger View Post
    Bruchsal was a great event. Yes, that's right, I also noticed that there were guitars in most of the orchestras, not mandocellos. So it was a great pleasure to see and listen to you with the Oregon mandolin orchestra with several - I think three (?) - mandocellos!
    Glad you enjoyed the event. We were worried about traveling with the bigger instruments, so I put out a plea (here on the Cafe) and heard back from Holger Plaetz who loaned me his K2. Another player got to use Mike Marshall's Monteleone. I had bought a cheap guitar-conversion for practice which had a broken head when I opened the case in Germany. Then a string broke on Holger's K2 in our warmup session! Talk about a string of bad luck.

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