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The group "Ensemble Gabriele Leone"

History of mandolin

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English translation of our video from main page

Ensemble Gabriele Leone is an ensemble of mandolins and guitars. This association was founded in 1991 in order to find, play and spread original mandolin music written from the 18th century to contemporary music and also including traditional music, especially from South America.

The composition of the group varies from 3 to 8 musicians featuring at least one mandolin, it includes guitars and sometimes (for ancient music) baroque violin, cembalo, theorbo (a bass lute), and other instruments playing chamber music with mandolin.

Mandolin is well-known for Neapolitan serenata and for Vivaldi's concerti, but people in Europe usually ignore that mandolin is also part of American bluegrass music, as well as Brazilian music or Venezuelan music. for instance Mandolin is very often being played in choro music, since the 1950's when the virtuoso Jacob do Bandolim was active. As an ensemble, we try to present in our concerts these different types of original mandolin repertories, classical as well as traditional.

From 1979 to 1990, we were soloists of a plucked strings orchestra, a traditional form of amateur musicians group learning all together with a teacher who generally conducts the orchestra. Those soloists were also playing chamber music and finally separated from the mother orchestra to follow their goal : to travel through Europe and present the discoveries that Didier Le Roux (brother of our guitar player Guy) and myself had made concerning the mandolin history in the French National Library in Paris and in other European libraries. We play the music we have found on copies or original instruments repaired by luthiers in France, in Spain, in Germany and in Italy, according to their capabilities and interests on the different instruments we wanted to play.

We also give some music lectures. Few people take lessons with our group, but on demand, we can organise summer courses for instance on ancient music. It happened that we arrived and lent a dozen of instruments to the students, testing the different sounds and the related literature during the week.

We have a record which has been recorded, and that we want now to produce, and we are proposing it to various labels. If one is interested, please contact us through our web site : www.ensemble-gabriele-leone.org

In the same section :
A group of musicians dedicated to mandolin
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