Classical Accordion

Classical Accordion

by Ksenija Sidorova


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Classical Accordion

Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova offers a disclaimer: "It will probably be a while before the phrase 'I play the classical accordion' doesn't sound unusual or funny!" But she has taken a big step toward legitimizing the instrument with this release from Britain's Champs Hill label. It avoids the twin poles that have characterized much of the classical accordion music that has appeared thus far: music influenced by the jazz avant-garde on one hand, and reworked folk styles on the other. Sidorova offers two types of music: contemporary compositions for accordion and arrangements of Baroque and Classical keyboard works. The listener will be struck by how well the whole program holds together and how well executed Sidorova's arrangements are; hearing transcriptions of Bach, Mozart, and Domenico Scarlatti after works by Luciano Berio and Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim, you feel as though you're hearing the music in a new way. This isn't due just to the fact of the accordion's novelty: Sidorova shapes the music from Bach's "Overture in the French style, BWV 831," into registral layers that reflect the sort of construction to which the modern composers naturally turn. The accordion can sustain tones and inflect their textures while doing so, and Nordheim's opening work "Flashing" and Berio's "Sequenza XIII," both influenced by electronic music, make primary use of this ability. After that, you can't help but hear Bach and Mozart in those terms. With the exception of Alfred Schnittke's "Revis Fairy Tale," an arrangement of music from the ballet "Esquisses" (via several intermediate steps), Sidorova sticks with a combination of modern music originally for accordion and standard-repertoire music arranged for it. Sample the bonus track, a movement from Astor Piazzolla's swan song "Five Tango Sensations for bandoneón and string quartet," to experience Sidorova's very expressive playing. A real treat for any fan of the accordion or for anyone who has considered the interesting question of how an instrument becomes established in classical repertoire; as Sidorova points out, a century ago nobody considered the guitar a classical instrument either, despite its glorious past.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/26/2011
Label: Champs Hill Records
UPC: 5060212590206
catalogNumber: 19
Rank: 102237


  1. Flashing, for accordion

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