Music from the novels of LOUIS de BERNIERES

Captain Corelli's Mandolin and the Latin Trilogy

"This disc is pure joy… Craig Ogden… has always chosen his recital programmes with wisdom, and, as a performer in the specialised realm of the classical guitar, he has opened our ears to the instruments breadth of repertory and to its expressive potential." --The Daily Telegraph ‘CD of the Week’

There was a fashion throughout Europe and the USA for the mandolin between about 1890 and 1914, and this enthusiasm encouraged many Italian players (mostly from the poor south) to travel abroad to, hopefully, find their fame and fortune. They may have been quite successful for a time, but the fashion soon disappeared and many of the players simply returned to Italy to resume their daily lives where they left off. The mandolin’s cultural status was never high, and the mandolin fraternity was never well organised. Consequently, many of these players faded into obscurity.

We know little of Benedetto Persichini. He was born around 1880/90, and was a gifted mandolin player with a beautiful Roman instrument. It had a very narrow fingerboard that enabled him to finger rapid passages more easily and execute the most difficult chord work. He used altered tuning a great deal to give a more full harmonic effect with six- and seven-note fhords.

In 1954, John Anson wrote in the BMG magazine:

Perichini was a very likeable person but temperamental and excitable. He must have been the despair of some of his landladies. He actually slept with his beloved mandolin at his bedside and thought nothing of trying out some tune that had entered his head at a time when most people were fast asleep.

Another mandolinist about whom we know little is Angy Palumbo. He may have been one of the many hopefuls who left Italy and found only modest success. His name appears on some published works, and it has been speculated that, as was common practice, that this is only a pseudonym for a better known player who was unable to publish works under his own name for contractual reasons.

(Thanks to Dr Paul Spark, author of The Classical Mandolin and They Early Mandolin)

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