Thursday, April 29, 2021

Piazzolla & Galliano Concertos, Accordion Concertos by Astor Piazzolla & Richard Galliano, Jovica Janovic, Ukranian Chamber Orchestra, Valeriy Sokolov


If one has not been as mindful as one might of the music out there for accordion, it seems to be time to take note. At least, that is, with a recent release Piazzolla & Galliano Concertos (Navona NV6317) for Accordion and Chamber Orchestra. It is a happy confluence of two substantial works--by Astor Piazzolla and Richard Galliano and fine performances from Jovica Ivanovic at the accordion and the Ukranian Chamber Orchestra under  Valeriy Sokolov.

Neither concerto is expressly addressing the dance but each has a rhythmic continuity at least in the outer movements that suggest folk dance periodicity and regularity. Neither jump out at you in terms of overt Modernism in some harmonic sense for the most part,  and both are folk infused in ways that are original and carry their own weight.

Piazzolla (1921-1992) and his Argentinian New-Tango-plus-bandoneon background made me anticipate his concerto with interest. He fully lives up to expectations and perhaps surpasses them with intensive labyrinths of melodic concentricity. There is an endless melodic flow and virtuosity from the accordion part that the orchestra seconds and furthers. All three movements have a density and power that brings to the ears an original lyricism built of strong phrase blocks that fit together seamlessly.

Richard Galliano's "Opale Concerto" work perfectly complements the Piazzolla with its very own melodic-rhythmic density that strays more decidedly into "progressive" rhythmic vitality--e.g., the driving 5/4 passages of the first movement. There is a bit more chromatic dexterity that both accordion and orchestra take up. The composer met Piazzolla in 1980 whereupon he was inspired to pursue a "new French musette" music of which this concerto is the logical outgrowth. As the liners state--there is a unique combination of "raw Balkan, nostalgic Parisian and bustling American influences."

Repeated listenings bring out the full bouquet of musically heightened brilliance these two works have in abundance. The deft combination of superb readings and musically vital works make this volume an experience that will doubtless make the listener smile and think at the same time. Very recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment