Jordi Savall, the consummate viola da gamba virtuoso, from Spain, played works by Marin Marais that he had recorded for the soundtrack of Alain Corneau’s 1992 film “Tous les Matins du Monde.” Marion Verbruggen, a Dutch master of the recorder, breezed through a wide-ranging Baroque recital. The Mandel Quartet, from Hungary, offered a delightful Renaissance pops program; surely, Robert Mandel holds all modern speed records on the hurdy-gurdy. The Artaria Quartet, based hereabout, paid belated but eloquent tribute to the 250th anniversary of Boccherini. Expert collaborators were also on hand, including Paul O’Dette, on guitar, and John Gibbons and John Butt, on harpsichord.
James R. Oestreich, New York Times, June 14, 1994 (Critic’s Notebook; Can Period Instruments Be Passe?)
His Royal Highness was interested to hear about the progress of Robert Mandel’s group.
Major The Hon Andrew Wigram, Buckingham Palace, 2nd November 1983
In a concert of East-European music [Robert Mandel] in the Purcell Room to be of extraordinary versatility and range…
Maurice Rosenbaum, Daily Telegraph, London, August 22, 1984
His [Robert Mandels] performance here a year ago or so was an example of the highest level of performance, whether it was Haydn, traditional song or folk dance.
Barry S. Brook, President of International Music Council, UNESCO
Robert Mandel is a true artist, who brings us all close together…
Studs Terkel, WFMT, Chicago, USA
Jean Christophe Maillard (musette) and Robert Mandel (vielle) both released recordings in 1991 that offered the first glimpses into the rich and distinctive repertory of French music for these two unusual instruments. Mandel’s Hurdy-Gurdy Collection included a vast range of music fro medieval dances through baroque sonatas to arrangements of traditional Hungarian and Romanian folk dances (Hungaroton 31428). It is the contribution of these distinguished musicians that makes this recording much more than a passing curiosity. Mandel plays on only nine tracks, but especially in the duetts with maillard, the infectious joy of their playing is hard to miss. The concluding work actually a reissue of mandel’s 1991 recording of the variations on “Twinide, Twinide Little Star” probably the first recording of this work on a period hurdy-gurdy. It is a most appropriate ending for one of the most fascinating discs I have heard in the past few years.
Charles E. Brewer, American Record Guide, 3rd July 2001.
The instruments on which Robert Mandel, an extremely fine performer in any genre, performed the Patachich work in this concert, and on which he improvised in the Saturday evening concert, is one he developed himself. The Electrotary is a hurdy-gurdy or rotary lute designed for amplification. many of the parts are made of precision-machined metal which makes the instrument capable of much greater precision than the acoustic version of the instrument with its light wooden sound box. It is a versatile instrument capable of both beauty and power.
David Keane, Computer Music Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2 pp. 56-68