Reviews

CD review: Leave Something Unexplained

— Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)

Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor. On Marilynn Mair’s shimmering new CD, Leave Something Unexplained (QORQ), there’s a formalism in play that doesn’t feel formal at all. Mair’s a superb mandolin player who has previously brought the instrument to unexpected places, so it’s not shocking to realize she has ideas about creatively positioning it. But from Villa-Lobos laments to Bach’s ‘Adagio’ she makes the disc’s broad curatorial choice all sound like they belonged together in the first place.

Posted July 22nd, 2008

CD review: Leave Something Unexplained

– Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground… So it is with ‘Leave Something Unexplained’. Mair teams with Adam Larrabee on classical guitar for the title track and the Villa Lobos classic ‘Bachianas Brasilieras’. Both pieces showcase a high level of ensemble playing, dynamics, and overall musicality. But perhaps when Larrabee plays mandocello we hear a more groundbreaking sound. ‘From Tregian’s Ground,’ along with ‘A Waltz for Evelyn Hinrichsen,’ certainly some of the nicest tracks on the CD, reveal a very intimate reading for this under-recorded instrumental format. Read More »

Posted July 22nd, 2008

Article: Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance

— Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal (USA)

Mandolinist Marilynn Mair plays works written by her and other composers Sunday at Roger Williams University in Bristol. “I’m one of those people who gets ‘good ideas,'” says Marilynn Mair, her voice making the quotation marks obvious. “And when I get a ‘good idea,’ I have to do it.” That’s why the mandolinist is one of the busiest musicians in Rhode Island, and why she performs in three different combos on her latest disc, Leave Something Unexplained. Read More »

Posted October 19th, 2006

CD review: Mandolin in the 18th Century

— Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)

I often think of Marilynn as a champion of new music, and she has performed and recorded her share of contemporary works. But stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light… It seemed that on Marilynn’s last CD, Nadando em Luz, she really came into her own as a performer of choro music. This CD [Mandolin in the 18th Century] strikes me in a similar way, it is Marilynn’s re-emergence as a classical mandolinist, and her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to.

Posted July 22nd, 2006

Concert review

– The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound.

Posted July 22nd, 2005

CD review: Nadando em Liz

– David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio.

Posted July 22nd, 2005

Concert review

– Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)

Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music that in its lilting string compositions calls to mind staring out admiringly into a charcoal-black sky after hours on a veranda in Brasilia. Or in her swifter downbeat rhythms, Mair plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions, an after-dinner party and the late-night dancing, fast and close, that follows.

Posted July 22nd, 2005

CD review: Mandolin in the 18th Century

– David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time.

Posted July 22nd, 2005

Choro articles review in Brazil

Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita, professora de música da Roger Williams University. É integrante do grupo World Café Quartet e fundadora do octeto (!) de bandolins Enigmatica , especializado em música barroca, brasileira e contemporânea. Como ela fez um link para a Agenda, achei seu belo sítio virtual (em inglês), onde pode-se ler sua biografia, comprar seus discos e até ouvir curtíssimos trechos das músicas. Read More »

Posted September 10th, 2003

Concert review

– Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure.

Posted July 22nd, 2000

CD review: Spanish Serenade

– Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine (USA)

Marilynn Mair on mandolin…touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate ‘Latin soul’.

Posted July 17th, 1991

Letter from presenter

– Jenneth Webster, Producer, Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…You with your fine musicianship made a conquest, charming and delighting them.

Posted July 22nd, 1990

Concert review

– Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)

There were two New York premiers on the program. Guido Santorsola’s “Sonata a Duo No. 6,” in three movements, began with an atonal, pointilistic interplay between the two instruments — almost a burlesque. This was contrasted by an extremely lush movement in which a sensuous melody was carried with great effectiveness by a tremolo played on the mandolin. The piece ended in a kind of recapitulation of the first and second movements juxtaposed — a well balanced and enjoyable piece in both conception and performance. Read More »

Posted July 22nd, 1990

Concert review

– La Rioja (Spain)

A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary.

Posted July 22nd, 1990

Concert review

– Guitar Magazine (England)

A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!

Posted July 22nd, 1990

Concert review

– Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)

Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her…  her double and treble stopping a feat of precision engineering on the tiny fingerboard.

Posted July 22nd, 1990

CD review: ZU

– Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness.

Posted July 22nd, 1990
  • "Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor... Mair's a superb mandolin player who has brought the instrument to unexpected places..." - Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita" -- Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)
    "Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground…a superb and versatile mandolinist and composer." - – Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary." – La Rioja (Spain)
    "Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance... her commitment to the music shines through." - Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal
    "A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…" - Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)
    "The final repeat of the melody transmitted a strong feeling of peace and tenderness that escaped no one in the audience. It is this sensitivity and subtleness that characterized the overall performance." - Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)
    "A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!" – Guitar Magazine (England)
    "Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her." - Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)
    Marilynn Mair on mandolin...touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate 'Latin soul'. - Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine
    Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time. – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music... she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions." – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)
    "Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio." – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness." – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)
    "She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound." – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
    "Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure." – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light... her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to." -- Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)