Chris Acquavella | Praeludium

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Classical: Early Music Classical: Romantic Era Moods: Solo Instrumental
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by Chris Acquavella

Solo classical mandolin music from baroque to contemporary. "Chris Acquavella delivers powerfully emotive solo performances that pay homage to their historical origins through his own uniquely personal mandolin voice." David Grisman
Genre: Classical: Early Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fantasia No. 1
5:18 $0.99
2. Captain O'Kane
2:30 $0.99
3. Piccolo Gavotta
3:15 $0.99
4. Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: I. Allemanda
3:09 $0.99
5. Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: II. Sarabanda
2:26 $0.99
6. Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: III. Giga
3:13 $0.99
7. Serenata Op. 2
4:12 $0.99
8. Moonlight On the Thames
3:15 $0.99
9. El Duende
2:41 $0.99
10. Partita No. 3: I. Preludio
0:54 $0.99
11. Partita No. 3: II. Allemande
1:59 $0.99
12. Partita No. 3: III. Courrente
1:17 $0.99
13. Partita No. 3: IV. Aria
3:57 $0.99
14. Partita No. 3: V. Giga
1:15 $0.99
15. Partita No. 3: VI. Menuet
1:18 $0.99
16. Bells of Night
4:40 $0.99
17. Polcha Variata
3:12 $0.99
18. Diferencias
5:28 $0.99
19. Musette
1:45 $0.99
20. Praeludium
1:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Welcome to my first solo album, Praeludium. You are about to embark on a journey of “standard but not so standard”, classical mandolin repertoire dating from the baroque period to contemporary. The mandolin has been with us for over four centuries. One might think this is plenty of time for concert audiences to become familiar with the classical mandolin repertoire. However, when asked to name that repertoire, most people can only come up with Vivaldi’s Concerto for Mandolin (RV425) and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, if that. Many years of war, new musical instruments and the introduction of jazz and rock & roll forced the mandolin into the shadows, only to rise up again later in history. In truth the mandolin has a vast array of works dating from the 17th century to modern day, including repertoire for solo mandolin and mandolin with other various instrumentation. Today the classical mandolin is once again growing in popularity; its repertoire rediscovered and enjoyed by performers and concert audiences around the globe. New music is constantly being written for the mandolin and scholars are unearthing long lost works from various libraries. The solo mandolin has a captivating and haunting quality, with its repertoire as sweet, romantic and virtuosic of that of the violin or guitar. Praeludium is my attempt to introduce new audiences to this wonderfully charming music performed on my favorite instruments: the mandolin & baroque mandolino. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I’ve enjoyed making it.

Recording details:
Recorded: Studio West, San Diego CA, July 2011
Engineer: Darrell Harvey
Mastered: Sound Media Productions, Seattle WA, August 2011
Mastering: Brandon Busch
CD Design: Gary Payne
Photography: Gary Payne
2010 Brian N. Dean “German” model
2011 Brian N. Dean Baroque Mandolino

Chris Acquavella graduated First Class Honors from Trinity College of Music in London, England. He studied under the instruction of Alison Stephens. Chris won the Wolfsan Foundation Music Award in 2004 and was awarded the TCM Trust Silver Medal for String Studies in 2006. Chris Acquavella performs across Europe and America both in a solo and chamber music capacity. Aside from chamber music, he concertizes as a soloist & orchestral musician with various orchestras throughout the world. Chris is currently a member of the Ger Mandolin Orchestra, directed by Mike Marshall, as well as Duo LaRe with guitarist, Nathan Jarrell. Chris Acquavella has performed & taught workshops at the CMSA Conventions and Mandolin Symposium. He is an instructor at the New Expression School of Music in San Diego, California.



to write a review


Great CD of little heard mandolin gems
I have had this CD, Praeludium, for several weeks now, and truly enjoy it. The repertoire is very well played, recorded, and selected. Most of the tunes were written specifically for the mandolin, and Mr. Acquavella takes us on a journey through mandolin history. I also particularly enjoy the pieces played on the Baroque Mandolino. It has such a full and almost harp like sound. I also really enjoy the Bach, on here. I have heard Bach's solo violin work on mandolin before, but this is my favorite recording of these amazing works. They actually seem so well suited to the mandolin, since the chords can be played fully and together, not broken like one would need to on violin. All and all a great recording by one of the very few (if not only) classically trained American mandolinist.


Soul-stirring, superb recording.
Exquisite music and a crystal clear sound. Passionate and smooth, very enjoyable.

Eileen Jackson

Great Listening
This CD is just wonderful. The best classical mandolin playing I have heard. I listen to it all the time on my way to and from my mandolin lessons.


Great Listen
Chris does a great job on this recording. The pieces he selected are beautifully played and the mandolins employed sound fantastic. I've enjoyed listening to this CD very much.


Solo mandolin masterpieces
I enjoy watching Chris live, and this CD seams to catch that energy well. A great selection from the solo repertoire with well thought out interpretations. I look forward to lots more form Chris.

I don't know who CL is, but I think that person did not listen to this CD.

Diane and the Reviewer Team

Brilliant Solo Classical CD
The artistic musician, Chris Acquavella, releases a brilliant solo Classical CD, “Praeludium,” featuring his marvelous talents on the mandolin. Acquavella, who has performed solo and with chamber groups, reveals memorable shades of the mandolin by covering Classical music ranging from Baroque to Contemporary. He offers a colorful variety of songs that span the ages of Classical music. Opening up the album, “Fantasia No.1,” one can feel the passion that Acquavella emanates on this song. Another song, “El Duende,” is elegant as one is stimulated by the lyrical excitement played by this talented artist. “Polcha Variata,” is a song that impresses with its lively tonality and precise accuracy. Fans of Classical music will truly appreciate the magical sounds of the mandolin on the superb album, “Praeludium.”


Very nice, highly recommended.
Wow, so much sound out of this little instrument. This CD is very nicely played and presented. I have found solo CDs in the past to have some very listenable pieces and then some that are more modern, or something, that I find myself skipping over. However, I really enjoy the Praeludium CD all the way through. it's been on our home CD player for a week straight.


A great collection of music, beautifully played and enjoyable to listen to
I've had this album for a week now and have been listening to it and other mandolin recordings on my playlists and have throughly enjoyed this collection. The selection of classical music is diverse and demonstrates a wide range of themes and techniques. Acquavella plays with impeccable precision, clarity and expression and demonstrates the versatility of his instrument. The recordings are solo mandolin without accompaniment, this offers the listener a good understanding of the astonishing versatility of the instrument and the selection of music allows Acquavella to demonstrate a range of techniques including dual-style, tremolo, arpeggios with effortless precision.
I recommend this album to anyone who is interested in classical music, and especially those who are unfamiliar with classical mandolin. A very enjoyable album.


Interesting folk music
A friend recommended this CD, I'm glad I got it, the banjo playing is nice. Sometimes it even sounds like an ukelele, he must have magic fingers.


Great musicality and expression
Mr. Acquavella is a tremendously talented musician. What is exceptional about this CD is not only his technical perfection, but his musicality. I have a lot of mandolin music on CD, and so many of these incorporate good technique, but are just too boring to listen to. This is NOT the case with Chris's recordings! He is the most expressive mandolinist - recorded or live - I have ever heard. Just stunning! This CD has a variety of pieces which are sure to please. One of my all-time favorite CDs. I highly recommend this recording.
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