Sound samples of Embergher instruments

Mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk (1st Prize winner) during the National Finale of the Dutch Prinsess Christina Concours, Sunday April 10th, 2011, in The Hague (NL). 1st composition ‘Piccola Gavotta’ op. 73 by Raffaele Calace and 2nd composition – with pianist Eva van den Dool – ‘Capriccio Spagnuolo’, Op. 276, by Carlo Munier.
The Souvernir de Bovio by E. Zerega is the only composition known by this composer. It is believed that Mr. Zerega was of Spanish origin and that he lived in London around 1900. Video images used; Courtesy Library Time Machine, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is because of the arrangement for mandolin and guitar by the English mandolinist Alison Stephens of this little music gem, a Romance originally composed for mandolin and piano, that Mr. Zerega will not be forgotten. The work is played here by Pauline Ulderink and Alex Timmerman, both members of the well-known Dutch Mandolin Chamber Orchestra Het CONSORT. For those interesting in playing it themselves; the music is published by Astute Music Ltd and can be ordered there.
Ferdinand Binnendijk & Laurens de Man perform the Fantasia Poetica by Rafaele Calace – Podium Witteman Music Show
Luigi BoccheriniGuitar Quintet in e minor (G.451) performed by the Embergher Mandolin Quintet from the Netherlands (1st mov.). Sebastiaan de Grebber; 1st Mandolin – Pauline Ulderink; 2nd Mandolin – Alex Timmerman; Guitar – Ruth Rouw; Mandola – Ferdinand Binnendijk; Liuto cantabile.

Diferencias by Victor Kioulaphides performed by Alex Timmerman on the Mandoliola, the Alto Mandolin of the Mandolin family.

The Mandoliola used here is an Embergher Orchestra model No. 1 made in 1908 by the famous Roman luthier Luigi Embergher (1856-1943). It is played with the long Roman plectrum special developed for the Roman instruments of the Mandolin family as developed by Giovanni Battista Maldura, Giovanni De Santis and Luigi Embergher. The Roman Mandoliola, also named Mandola Contralto and/or Alto Mandolin, has a swinging stringlength (mensura) of about 375 mm. and is tuned cc, gg, dd, aa. Within the Mandolin family it has the same function as the Viola (or Alto Violin) of the Violin family.

Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937) composed the ‘Pavane pour une enfante défunte’ in 1899 when he was 24 years old, as a solo work for piano. It was commissioned by and written for Princess Edmond de Polignac, whome he had met at the soirees held in the homes of the Parisian music sponsors. It became very popular in the orchestrated version created by Ravel in 1910. Maurice Ravel described it as “an evocation of a Pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have danced at the Spanish court”. The tempo of this Pavane should not, as Ravel himself pointed out on several occasions, be to slow. Today the ‘Pavane pour une enfante défunte’ excist in numerous arrangements for various instrumentations and here it is transcribed by Alex Timmerman for 2 mandolins, mandola, mandoloncello and guitar. The members of the Dutch Mandolin Quintet are Sebastiaan de Grebber and Pauline Ulderink as the 1st and 2nd mandolinsts, Ruth Rouw on mandola, Ferdinand Binnendijk on mandoloncello and Alex Timmerman as guitarist.
“Dioses Aztecas” for mandolin & piano (1st movement) performed by Ferdinand Binnendijk, mandolin and Laurens de Man, piano. Recorded October 12th, 2016. Video: Lisanne Dijkstra Audio: Sebastiaan de Grebber
Concerto for Mandolin, string orchestra and harpsichord in C major (RV 425) by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) as performed during a concert on October 4th, 2011, in the famous concert hall PARADISO in Amsterdam (Netherlands) by the Nederlands Kamerorkest conducted by Gordan Nikolic’ (violin) & the Dutch mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk.

Double Concerto for two mandolins and Orchestra (RV532) by Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) performed by the Dutch Mandolin Chamber Orchestra Het CONSORT lead by Alex Timmerman. Soloists are Ferdinand Binnendijk and Sebastiaan de Grebber.

Here the concerto, with its three movements ‘Allegro – Andante – Allegro‘ is performed during a concertperformance by the Dutch Mandolin Chamber Orchestra Het CONSORT (June 7th 2014, Amsterdam, NL). The soloists are two members of this orchestra, Sebastiaan de Grebber on the left playing an 1938 Embergher Model No. 7 soloist mandolin and Ferdinand Binnendijk performing on an 1933 Embergher Mod. No. 5 bis soloist mandolin. The orchestra members all use Embergher No. 5 bis and 6 soloist models.

La Tristezza D’Inverno by Alison Stephens performed by the Dutch mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk.
La Tristezza D’Inverno (The Sadness of Winter) was composed in 2004 and performed many times by Alison Stephens herself. Here it is performed by the young Dutch mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk recorded at the studios of the Radio Nederland Wereldomroep for Christmas 2011. The composition is published by Astute Music ( Video placed with permission of Ferdinand Binnendijk.

The Andante Largo Op.5, No.5 by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) performed by Alex Timmerman on a 7-string Model No. 5 concert guitar made by Luigi Embergher in 1930. The tuning of the Heptacorde guitar is the same as that of the modern Spanish guitar (E-A-d-g-b-e’). The added extra lowest string, the 7th, ist tuned to a low D: one octave below the 4th string of the guitar. The advantage of the Heptacord above the normal 6-string guitar is thought to lay in its greater possibilities (chord harmonies, tone range etc.), its sonority and the overall warmer sound of the guitar.

Mandolinist Ferdinand Binnendijk performs Fantasia No.1 in B-flat major (TWV 40:14) from the XII Fantasie per il VIOLINO Senza Basso Anno 1735 by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767). The movements are: Largo – Allegro – Grave e Si replica l’allegro
Raffaele Calace (1863-1934) was born in Naples, the son of Antonio Calace, a celebrated musical-instrument maker. Besides being an apprentice at his father’s workshop and the successor to the family business, he turned out to be very talented in playing the mandolin and liuto cantibile and became one of the most famous mandolin virtuosi of his time. After his studies at the Music Highschool of Naples, he made it his mission to elevate the mandolin globally to the highest level. Raffaele Calace hoped to achieve this by giving concerts throughout Europe and even further – in Japan, for example, where he performed before the Emperor and his family. Besides being a performer he also wrote about 200 compositions for his beloved instrument. Most of these works, either solo or in combination with other instruments, belong to the best and most beautiful music ever written for the mandolin, demanding a highly developed technique and musical understanding of the performer. This is certainly the case with the 10 Preludes for mandolin solo. It can be said that in the general mood of these particular works, although every single Prelude has its own spirit and character, a certain melancholy is always present. The initially majestic opening of the Preludio No. I eventually leads into a cantabile section in which the lyricism of the work awakens. After cadenza-like passages the music once more reveals its majestic opening and closes with a grandeur of arpeggios. This is a live-recording of the concert the Dutch mandolinist Sebastiaan de Grebber gave in Modena-Italy at the eighth ‘Protagonista il Mandolino’ concert-series in 2018. (a little reverb has been added later due to compensate the direct miking)