Uploaded on Oct 26, 2008
The Fantasia Poetica by Raffaele Calace (1863-1934) for mandolin and piano shown here was filmed during a concert by the Dutch mandolinist Sebastiaan de Grebber and Eva van den Dool. The performance took place in the Concert Hall of the Centre for the Arts - De Muzerie - in Zwolle on Saterday July 5th, 2008. Raffaele Calaces Fantasia Poetica is one of his finest works for this combination of instruments; the modern mandolin and grand piano.
Raffaele Calace was born in Naples as the son of Antonio Calace, a successful
instrument maker. Raffaele grew up in a music loving family and was initially trained to become a musician but, as came true later, also inherited the love for instrument making from his father. During his youth he discovered the possibilities of the mandolin and, once at the music highschool, became an unequalled virtuoso on his beloved instrument, the mandolin. After he had graduated with honours at the Regio Conservatorio di Musica in Naples, his intentions were to give the mandolin a full and accepted place in music. To achieve this, he toured through Europe and Japan, and made three long-playing records. Raffaele wrote about 200 compositions that belong to the most beautiful and technically difficult works written for the mandolin. His virtuosic Fantasia Poetica Op. 56 is an excellent example of true Italian Neo-Romanticism and a fine example within the literature for mandolin and piano.
Raffaele Calace also wrote didactical works of which his mandolin method published in 1910 is much-praised. It elaborates on the eighteen-century Italian mandolin tutors by i.e. Giovanni Battista Gervaiso and Gabriele Leone and shows today the development of the Italian style of playing the mandolin over more than 250 years at its best. His mandolin method can therefore be seen as a bridge between the methods by the mandolin virtuoso Silvio Ranieri (1882-1956), who had settled in Brussels at the start of the 20th Century and the American based Italian master of the instrument Giuseppe Pettine (1874-1966).
Raffaele Calace and his brother Nicola Calace (1859-1923) were, besides their activities as musicians, also recognised as excellent makers of the instruments of the Neapolitan mandolin family. They introduced improvements in the building techniques such as the
enlargement of the sound box and - like the Roman master luthier Luigi Embergher - the fingerboard that extended over the sound hole to enlarge the ambitus of the mandolin.
When Nicola emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1898, Raffaele continued the Calace luthier workshop with his daughter Maria, a gifted mandolin player as well, and his son Giuseppe Calace. Today the Calace atelier is run by Calace´s grandson Raffaele Jr. and still known for its excellent made instruments of the Mandolin family.
Sebastiaan de Grebber is one of the leading musicians of the youngest generation of mandolinists. He studied the mandolin at the musicschool De Muzerie and ArtEZ Music Conservatory in Zwolle (Netherlands) under the guidance of Alex Timmerman, in Italy at the Conservatorio C. Pollini in Padova, with the famous Italian mandolinist Mr. Ugo Orlandi, and at the Messiaen Academie/Highschool for the Arts in Zwolle. To complete his music studies at the Messiaen Academie Sebastiaan gave a final concert after which the jury, enlarged for the occasion with Maestro Ugo Orlandi of the Conservatorio C. Pollini, unanimously in their opinion granted him the highest possible predicate: Master of music with distinction. Besides being a real ambassador for the virtuosic and original Italian mandolin repertoire of the 20th Century, Sebastiaans interest lies in the Modern music of our own time. A wonderful example of the outcome of that interest is this video with Raffaele Calaces compsition Fantasia Poetica Op. 56. Here Sebastiaan plays a Luigi Embergher/Giannino Cerrone 5bis concert mandolin made in 1956.
The score of the Fantasia Poetica by Raffaele Calace and other music of Raffaele Calace can be ordered from the Calace firm in Napels (Italy). Here is a direct link to their website:
For more information about Sebastiaan de Grebber, his concerts and CDs, please visit his website: http://www.degrebber-mandolin.com/ or the Dutch Mandolin Chamber Orchestra of which Sebastiaan de Grebber is the Concert master:
This video was made by Mr. van den Dool at a concert given at the concert hall of the Centre for the Arts De Muzerie in Zwolle on Saterday July 5th, 2008. The release of this video is published by Het CONSORT, Zwolle, Netherlands, 2008.
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