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Albrechtsberger: Concerto for Jew's Harp, Mandora & Orchestra [Import]

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger , Hans Stadlmair , Munich Chamber Orchestra , Fritz Mayr , Dieter Kirsch Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Fritz Mayr, Dieter Kirsch
  • Orchestra: Munich Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Hans Stadlmair
  • Composer: Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
  • Audio CD (December 19, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Orfeo
  • ASIN: B000005975
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Konzert in E major: Tempo moderato
2. Konzert in E major: Adagio
3. Konzert in E major: Finale - Tempo di menuetto
4. Konzert in F major: Allegro moderato
5. Konzert in F major: Andante
6. Konzert in F major: Menuetto - Moderato
7. Konzert in F major: Finale - Allegro molto

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tying bluegrass to classical January 2, 1999
By A Customer
The first time I heard this recording was on my local PBS station and I was'nt sure what I was hearing. My Grandfather taught me to play the Jew's harp when I was eight or nine years ole and I only thought that this instrument was for what we called a hillbilly band. I took my Jew's harp with me into the army and while stationed in Paris France I played with a country band and became the main attraction when I took out my Jew's harp from my pocket and began to play. I am a classical music lover but until I heard this recording thought that there was no place for the Jew's harp in classical music. I now play along with the orchestra and thouroughly enjoy it . Can't wait to get my own copy so I can aggitate the rest of the family and teach my grandchildren the versatility of the Jew's harp.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant and Unusual July 11, 2007
By R. Folk
Yes, yes, it's a bizarre choice of instruments. But despite what one reviewer said, these works are sweetly written and very pleasant. Albrechtsberger is obscure as a composer, but well remembered as an influential theorist. He also served as a music teacher to Beethoven when he grew frustrated with Haydn, who had not the time to correct his work. These works are in the galant or rococo style, somewhere between baroque and classical (but closer to classical). These works must be understood in the context of the galant period. At that time, folk instruments had become very fashionable, and some composers became interested in them, such as Leopold Mozart, who wrote for the alp horn, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and so on. The mandora, a type of lute, has a good sound, and the jew's harp is surprisingly melodious considering the fact that the fundamental pitch does not vary. All in all, this is very pleasant music, and even the non-musical will be entertained by the sheer quirkiness of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calling it "bizarre" doesn't quite do it justice February 4, 2007
Really, it has to be heard to be believed. Recordings of the Jew's Harp Concerto have been amusing music students at parties for years. It is one those oddities that one will find it hard to resist adding to one's collection.

I recommend this with many caveats. There is a good reason why Albrechtsberger is a virtual unknown (if not for the Jew's Harp Concerto, he would be completely off the musical radar), and the novelty of these pieces is really the only thing that can recommend this recording. However, you probably already had guessed that.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are You Serious? September 24, 2010
Don't be! As Barry Bonds used to say about baseball, "it's just entertainment." These two rococo concertos for 'Maultrommel' and Mandora are simply amusing novelties, performed very well on a recording made in 1981. The mandora is a mandolin-sized lute. The Maultrommel -- Guimbarde in French; it has an ethnically offensive name in English -- is a musical toy for classicists though a 'respected' rhythm/drone instrument in folk ensembles from Norway to Namibia. It's a keyhole-shaped frame around a metal tong; one holds the frame against one's teeth and twangs the tong while breathing in and out. The twanging produces a single fundamental pitch, but by varying the mouth shape in imitation of vowels, one can exploit the 'partials' to produce various pitches ... or the illusion at least of pitches. The timbre is so funky that one can have the impression that the pitches are actually in tune though they're approximate at best. Fritz Mayr exploits the pitch-effects of his Maultrommel with what one has to acknowledge as virtuosity.

When a baseball player gets too tense in the batter's box, he'll swing at bad pitches and strike out, and the announcers will say that "he's pressing." His manager will tell him to remember, it's just a game, go up there and have fun. I was recently rehearsing with a quintet of historical strings and continuo, the musicians of which seemed to me to be 'pressing.' They were dredging for profundities in music that was 'just entertainment,' music that needed to sound a bit silly. Music is after all a silly way to spend your life ... though it has, at times, a place for the Meaningful. These elegant little novelty concerts by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809) are the perfect antidote for profundity; they admonish the 'pressers' to: Get Frivolous!
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