Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Virtuoso Accordion
Mikko Luoma, bayan/accordion

Sampo Haapamäki (b. 1979): Power (2001)
Jukka Tiensuu (b. 1948): Aufschwung (1977)
Zolo (2002)
Vladimir Zubitsky (b. 1953): Carpathian Suite (1974)
Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947): Vagabonde blu (1998)
Gérard Grisey (1946-1998) Passacaille (1967)
Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958) Jeux d'anches (1990/91)


This interesting recital was planned to show "what an amazing instrument the accordion is". Is that still necessary? Regrettably, I fear so, though the button-accordion has been a favourite instrument of ours for many years *, and one that comes over particularly well on CDs.

Luoma is a leading accordionist in Finland and he includes two exciting groundbreaking works by his compatriot Jukka Tiensuu, "a truly remarkable musical polymath, composer, harpsichordist, writer and organiser" [PGW].

Grisey & Lindberg both played accordion in their youth; Lindberg's piece is particularly winning, with a 'spectral' approach to harmony and exploiting the instrument's exceptionally large dynamic and tonal spectrum.

Zubitsky's Carpathian Suite puts his native bayan through its paces in a thoroughly attractive manner. A great disc that should encourage young accordionists to extend and stretch their repertoires and skills.

Peter Grahame Woolf

* http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/liveevents/AccordionDuo.htm#showcase


David Starobin Favorite Tracks


David Starobin, guitar

Bridge 9272

Everyone loves the guitar!

I have had reservations though about the 19 C guitar repertoire, especially Paganini... David Starobin has nearly converted me.

On the advice of a fellow-executive at Bridge Records, he trawled his 35 years of recordings, selected the best tracks as Favourites and included one from a thought-lost master tape, a duet with violinist Pina Carmirelli (her I Musici had opened the doors to Vivaldi for many of us).

There is a lot to intrigue guitar afficionados, different instruments, different tunings etc. He duets in Sor with a gifted pupil, and gives a selection of the usual Guiliani, and Regondi. We found it compelling, against expectation; a very distinguished compilation with an interesting autobiographical commentary by David Starobin.

Favorite Tracks Vol 2 - 20th Century Guitar Masterpieces

Mario Lavista: Natarayah
Elliott Carter: Three Poems of Robert Frost; Changes; Tell me where is fancy bred;
Hans Werner Henze: Carillon, Récitatif, Masque;
Stephen Sondheim: Sunday Song Set;

David Starobin, Patrick Mason, Ensemble Speculum Musicae etc

Bridge 9292 [2009]

Volume 2, released this year, is more in line with what Musical Pointers seeks out; contemporary music of many genres and styles, a totally personal collection, one which owes a great deal (as I suspect do most of the Bridge releases) to Starobin's wife Becky, bound across railway tracks on the rather sick-jokey cover illustration...

There are modern classics, Carter's characteristic Changes from the '80s with the very much earlier Frost Songs you wouldn't guess was his, with Patrick Mason the versatile baritone and, in Sondheim arrangements from Sunday in the Park with George by David's brother Michael, the singing-narrator.

From Henze, a triptych with mandolin and harp - delicious - and perhaps most enduringly treasurable is a neglected, nearly lost, trio of Sandor Jemnitz, composed 1932 and well worth rescuing and playing by any guitarist who finds himself with a violinist and a violist.

Peter Grahame Woolf

see also: