>I just heard on the radio Vivaldi's concerto for two mandolins.
As a matter of interest, my orchestra (Sydney University Symphony
Orchestra) is playing a mandolin concerto written by the Australian
Larry Sitsky. It's a world premiere (written in 1998) and will be played
at the University of Sydney Great Hall in October. Quite an interesting
instrument since isn't it tuned like a violin but with a pair of strings
for each pitch instead of one? In a contemporary context it has a strange
quality about it, but actually rather attractive. Various people (whom I
will not name) refer to it, a little contemptutously, as the 'guitar'
>Were mandolins common as an orchestral instrument long ago, or were they
>unique to a then Roman Catholic university?
I have read in a music dictionary of mine that Verdi and Mahler used
the mandolin as an orchestral instrument but it is not exactly common.
It doesn't tell me which works they are used in though.