I was very pleased to read the review of 2ukulele that Sam Muir gave us. I have copied it here. Sam Muir is a truly brilliant musician, as you will see on YouTube. She tours the world, giving concerts and workshops, so praise from her is praise indeed!
Here is her review:
Classical ukulele experts Paul Mansell and Tony Mizen have teamed up to release a book of ukulele duets called 2Kulele. This is an exciting, and much needed, addition to the classical ukulele repertoire. In this blog I’ll be taking a look at what’s inside.
Firstly, a little bit about the authors. Tony Mizen is well known for his popular classical ukulele books From Lute to Uke, The Baroque Ukulele and The Romantic Ukulele all of which are published by Flea Market Music. Meanwhile, Paul Mansell has been making a name for himself on the ukulele scene since 2016 with his books Classical Uke and Ukulele School. So, it’s exciting to see these two leading classical ukulele exponents joining forces to produce a collection of duets.
The book, which is available in both printed and digital versions, is published by Kevin Mayhew and includes twenty two pieces by composers ranging from Dowland to Carulli and Mozart to Mizen. There is a link to download all twenty two tracks. So even if you’re home alone and don’t have a duet partner you can still play-a-long! The book caters for players from beginner though to intermediate standard. I hasten to add that more advanced players will also get a great deal of enjoyment and benefit from playing these arrangements. The book begins with a number of easier pieces in first position by Diabelli and Kuffner. These pieces combine melody with either chordal or arpeggio accompaniments. Here’s Paul and Tony playing Easy Duet no.1 by Kuffner.
But don’t be lulled into thinking all of the pieces are easy! The fifth piece, Rondino by Rameau, has ukulele 1 starting up on the tenth fret. Most of the notes are on strings 1 and 2 and are single melodic notes so this is a great piece for increasing confidence with the higher positions. The two movements of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik are also positionally (lots of notes in the dusty end!) and rhythmically challenging but fun pieces to play.
What I particularly like about this collection is the surprise inclusions of original compositions by the Paul Mansell and Tony and Lisa Mizen. These works really add some variety with Paul exploring Latin and Hawaiian styles in Latin Lines and Hawaiian Dreaming, and Tony and Lisa opting for a more medieval feel in The Queen’s Dance and The King’s Dance. Not only are these new pieces refreshing, they demonstrate the versatility of the ukulele. I’m really hoping for a 2kulele2 which explores more original and innovative duets!
The sheet music is in staff notation and tab and has been professionally type set. The parts can be played with either low G or a high g tuning. The staff notation is written for high g but the tab can easily be played by low G players.