Alice, where art thou? -- Ascher/Farland

G-G-Granville, f-fetch your cloth!

Though practically forgotten nowadays other than as the intro music for Open All Hours, "Alice, where art thou?", written by Joseph Ascher in 1861, was one of the most popular songs of its time. This typically sentimental ballad of a melancholy man lamenting the departure of a girl taken too soon is one of the quintessential standards of the popular music of the late 19th century. It was, like so many others, overplayed, and it eventually sank into oblivion.

This arrangement was one of Alfred A. Farland's most popular numbers along with his variations on My Old Kentucky Home. It is a typical Farland showpiece that displays all of his fancy tricks, from chord tremolo to rapid rolls, arpeggios and runs. He displays a certain Thalberg-esque flair in the first section, which surprisingly develops into a very quiet tremolo part on the inside strings. He alternates regularly between these two registers until reaching a grand finale in which the melody dies out, accompanied by natural harmonics on the 4th string.

Like most of his solos, this one has never been recorded before (to my knowledge). My performance is far from doing it justice, but someone had to do it!

Rating:
  • Currently 5/5 stars.

Views: 288

Favourite of 1 person

Comment by thereallynicelady on November 16, 2013 at 16:41

Stupendous. Bravo. I am in awe!

Comment by Alan Sims on November 16, 2013 at 20:15

Excellent Mike . You excel  and exceed .

Comment by Dave Houle on November 17, 2013 at 3:50
Hi Mike,

I don't want to say anything bad about you, but you're a heck of a banjo player! I love to see that Weaver in action!
Comment by TONY BRYAN on November 17, 2013 at 10:01
I would rate this as my Banjo Treat of the Year! Thanks, Mike, and well done!
Comment by Richard William Ineson on November 17, 2013 at 10:10

Very impressive, never thought that I would hear this played again. I am sure that this beautiful melody will now be at the finger tips of every aspiring and perspiring, banjoist. The NHS will need to be prepared for an unprecedented increase in the incidence of RSI due to a nationwide overindulgence in the sostenuto technique. 

Comment by Trapdoor2 on November 17, 2013 at 18:37

Amazing. I thought such clever use of bionics was well in the future but it seems Mr. Moss's fingers have jumped the gun. Nice job on the surgery, BTW, very life-like!

Well done!

Comment by Mike Moss on November 17, 2013 at 18:44

>BEEP BOOP

>I AM A BANJO PLAYING ROBOT FROM THE FUTURE

>I AM HERE TO TAKE BANJO PLAYERS' JOBS

>JOB STEALING UNDERWAY...

>PARSING JOBS...

>48576

>9083435

>6544867435

>QUERY "BANJO PLAYING JOB" RETURNED NO RESULTS

>SIGNING UP FOR ROBO-UNEMPLOYMENT

>STANDING BY FOR BEING SOLD FOR SCRAP METAL

Comment by Mike Moss on November 17, 2013 at 18:46

Thank you all for your comments! I love the Weaver banjo, it really is an outstanding instrument. I'm playing on Clifford Essex medium gauge strings with a special Weaver 4th here, by the way.

Comment by Greg Tomlin on November 17, 2013 at 21:06

What a delightful performance!

Comment by Mike Moss on November 18, 2013 at 13:40

Thanks Greg! By the way, Richard, who did you listen to playing this piece? Were there still people trained in "the method"? I know D. Milner could play many of Farland's compositions and he wrote quite a few arrangements of his own in the same style, did he have any disciples?

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