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Jim Besser

Theme Of The Month, July 2015: Unlikely Concertina Music

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Very elegant playing, Jim! and with some "natural" Leslie too, right?

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Very elegant playing, Jim! and with some "natural" Leslie too, right?

All natural, straight up.

 

Well, here's my second submission. It's a late 1800s arrangement for solo classical banjo. The notes are all there on a treble English, with the two very high A notes having been notated in the original as harmonics on the string.

 

Old Folks at Home, with variations (solo on treble English)

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Of course, what is considered "unlikely" depends on who is doing the considering, but I'll try to throw a few things into the mix. Right now I'm having trouble with recording, so I'll resort to hunting down some things recorded in the past... maybe even the distant past.

 

Here's my first one, a simple classical piece arranged for two flutes and double-tracked using two different concertinas (both treble English). I have it marked as #16 in the book of duets, but since I don't have the book handy, I can't say more right now. If I find the book, I'll try to remember to come back and edit this post to add the details.

 

flute duet #16 on two English concertinas (twice through)

very nice!

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Of course, what is considered "unlikely" depends on who is doing the considering, but I'll try to throw a few things into the mix. Right now I'm having trouble with recording, so I'll resort to hunting down some things recorded in the past... maybe even the distant past.

 

Here's my first one, a simple classical piece arranged for two flutes and double-tracked using two different concertinas (both treble English). I have it marked as #16 in the book of duets, but since I don't have the book handy, I can't say more right now. If I find the book, I'll try to remember to come back and edit this post to add the details.

 

flute duet #16 on two English concertinas (twice through)

 

Really nice!

 

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Very elegant playing, Jim! and with some "natural" Leslie too, right?

All natural, straight up.

 

Well, here's my second submission. It's a late 1800s arrangement for solo classical banjo. The notes are all there on a treble English, with the two very high A notes having been notated in the original as harmonics on the string.

 

Old Folks at Home, with variations (solo on treble English)

 

Very much late 1800s... :D

 

Enjoyed this one too!

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Well, here's my second submission. It's a late 1800s arrangement for solo classical banjo. The notes are all there on a treble English, with the two very high A notes having been notated in the original as harmonics on the string.

 

Old Folks at Home, with variations (solo on treble English)

 

And now for something different, again. Some time during the early 1980s some friends and I formed an ad hoc group to do a couple of concerts at the Speakeasy "coffehouse" in Greenwich Village. I have a couple of casettes with incomplete recordings of those concerts. Most of the details are missing, but I can hear this one introduced as a march by Handel. If memory serves me correctly, we were four concertinas (2 trebles, a tenor treble, and a baritone) on this one.

 

march by Handel

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Well, here's my second submission. It's a late 1800s arrangement for solo classical banjo. The notes are all there on a treble English, with the two very high A notes having been notated in the original as harmonics on the string.

 

Old Folks at Home, with variations (solo on treble English)

 

And now for something different, again. Some time during the early 1980s some friends and I formed an ad hoc group to do a couple of concerts at the Speakeasy "coffehouse" in Greenwich Village. I have a couple of casettes with incomplete recordings of those concerts. Most of the details are missing, but I can hear this one introduced as a march by Handel. If memory serves me correctly, we were four concertinas (2 trebles, a tenor treble, and a baritone) on this one.

 

march by Handel

 

 

Wow, that's quite a sound. Great playing, with added character from aging magnetic tape.

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Now another one taken from an old casette. This is from a coffee house concert I did in 1982. Stephen Foster wrote many songs that are still popular today, from Camptown Races to Beautiful Dreamer, but also many that are less well known. This is one of them.

If You've Only Got a Moustache

 

Apologies to those who might want to play along. There was apparently a discrepancy between the speeds of the machines used to record and play back. I performed it in D, but here it's sounding more like Db=C#. Maybe I'll find time later to adjust the speed and replace the MP3 file, but not today.

 

This is one that I've been meaning to return to my repertoire, but I was suprised when I listened to it in this recording. I remember that I had been practicing it with its original published arrangement, on my 80-button Maccann (something else I hope to return to eventually), and with some friends in a "music hall" concert I had sung it and played trumpet (with guitar and piano), but I had forgotten that I had also worked it up on the English. No excuse now for not reviving it, since I don't need to work out a new arrangement, but I can copy my old one. B)

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I thought I'd share one more contribution to this month's Theme before a new one comes along:

 

http://youtu.be/hLZcBk0phcI

 

It's a great old tearjerker of a song that I've known for most of my life. The original published version (from 1898) can be found here:

 

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog/levy:058.133

 

My version is pretty close to the one recorded by The Blue Sky Boys, though there are some departures I can't account for, beyond 40-odd years of Folk Process. What makes it unlikely is that, while I've accompanied it countless times on banjo or guitar, I don't think I ever thought about playing it on a concertina before today.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Well, Jim, you've overtaken me with your posting that beautiful Händel take,

 

however, as I was preparing a comparatively meager solo recording of my very first piano piece, back then 50 years ago, I chose to record and post a first take of

 

G. Fr. Händel, Sarabande

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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I thought I'd share one more contribution to this month's Theme before a new one comes along:

 

http://youtu.be/hLZcBk0phcI

 

It's a great old tearjerker of a song that I've known for most of my life. The original published version (from 1898) can be found here:

 

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog/levy:058.133

 

My version is pretty close to the one recorded by The Blue Sky Boys, though there are some departures I can't account for, beyond 40-odd years of Folk Process. What makes it unlikely is that, while I've accompanied it countless times on banjo or guitar, I don't think I ever thought about playing it on a concertina before today.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

This is really lovely once again, charming.., much enjoyed, Bob!

 

Furthermore, your great songbook is prompting me to select one of my "unlikely" song recordings (from some time ago) to conclude this month's theme as far as I'm (actively) concerned:

 

Redemption Song

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Furthermore, your great songbook is prompting me to select one of my "unlikely" song recordings (from some time ago) to conclude this month's theme as far as I'm (actively) concerned:

Redemption Song

That's just wonderful, Wolf. Terrific choice of song, well delivered, and I can't imagine how the accompaniment could be improved. Bravo.

 

(Must...fight...English concertina...envy...)

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Now another one taken from an old casette. This is from a coffee house concert I did in 1982. Stephen Foster wrote many songs that are still popular today, from Camptown Races to Beautiful Dreamer, but also many that are less well known. This is one of them.

 

 

 

If You've Only Got a Moustache

Apologies to those who might want to play along. There was apparently a discrepancy between the speeds of the machines used to record and play back. I performed it in D, but here it's sounding more like Db=C#. Maybe I'll find time later to adjust the speed and replace the MP3 file, but not today.

 

This is one that I've been meaning to return to my repertoire, but I was suprised when I listened to it in this recording. I remember that I had been practicing it with its original published arrangement, on my 80-button Maccann (something else I hope to return to eventually), and with some friends in a "music hall" concert I had sung it and played trumpet (with guitar and piano), but I had forgotten that I had also worked it up on the English. No excuse now for not reviving it, since I don't need to work out a new arrangement, but I can copy my old one. B)

 

Lovely recording from former times, Jim - and we're getting the chance of listening to the voice of your about half your own age equivalent... :)

 

What is more, there's a sweet sound to the concertina - must be either a Lachenal, or magnetic distortion... :D

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Furthermore, your great songbook is prompting me to select one of my "unlikely" song recordings (from some time ago) to conclude this month's theme as far as I'm (actively) concerned:

 

 

 

 

 

Redemption Song

 

That's just wonderful, Wolf. Terrific choice of song, well delivered, and I can't imagine how the accompaniment could be improved. Bravo.

 

(Must...fight...English concertina...envy...)

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

 

Thanks a lot for that, Bob! Following the recording (at some point earlier in 2014 I guess) I wasn't quite sure about what to make of it myself, hence the "demo" labelling, but whilst listening to it once again today I didn't find that much to blame ... nevertheless the encouraging words from your side mean a lot to me!

 

Besides, it's pretty unusual for me to be subject (or rather have subjects) of envy (Preciosa, EC)... :D

 

However, it should be said that you're doing perfectly well with the Anglo (so no real reason to be envious here)!

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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It's August now, but I'm not through with July's theme. I had been looking for this one, and I've finally found it. It's from another old casette, labeled as my first-ever house concert, so it must be pre-1980.

 

It's another Stephen Foster song, this time accompanied on an 80-button (81, if you count the air button) Wheatstone (aka Maccann) duet. If some parts seem rather drawn out, it's not because I was trying to be over-dramatic, but because I was (and still am) pretty much a beginner on that system. The fingering was more in my head than in my fingers, and I was pausing to recall where to put my fingers next. :o

Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!

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This one's from the 1981 demo casette of Mandragora, a trio I was part of back then in New York City. Jane McMahan, our fearless leader is singing; Tom Goslin is the guitarist; and I'm playing a treble English concertina.

 

I think this is a good example of how a concertina can participate in accompaniment without doing either melody or constant chords.

My Mother's Advice

Edited to add: It's an old English music hall song, but I don't know from when or by whom. Maybe I can Google that after I've gotten some sleep.

Edited by JimLucas

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