For professional reasons, as a guitarist, I have always used the mandolin repertoire, and been taken aback by the lack on the market of Neapolitan pieces written specifically for plectrum ensembles, despite the fact that the history of the instrument has a lot to do with the city.
On various occasions, therefore, driven by necessity, I have produced elaborations and arrangements of such songs for mandolin ensembles, convinced that transcription has always greatly benefited the increase of compositions for the instrument, as has happened with great success for the guitar.
With this consideration in mind, my wish has been to extend this consolidated procedure of transposition also to the mandolin but in a form with greater content, that is, more than a transcription, an elaboration.
The Neapolitan song of the classical period is characterized by a strong and convincing melody which stands out even more for the simplicity of the harmonic texture which does not really distract from the text, often very poetic. It could therefore be inferred that the cantus alone is sufficient to express it, but this would not be enough to stir up emotion.
In order to avert the repeated pairing with an accompanying instrument, I have preferred to write the six songs contained in this issue for solo mandolin, also to highlight the still partly unexplored harmonic resources, freeing it from its limited melodic role.
The elaborations, therefore, show polyphonic and contrapuntal commitment and are accompanied by the necessary and excellent work of editing and fingering by Michele de Martino.
The form is sui generis: after the exposition of the structure of the song, the theme is freely varied like an improvised thematic fioritura with deliberate harmonic modernisms, not wishing to achieve a philological end but one that simply favours the “popular” nature of the pieces treated.
I hope with this work to have made a small but welcome contribution to the enthusiasts of the mandolin and the Neapolitan song.