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

Gubaidulina & the Accordions

Fachwerk, for bayan, percussion and string orchestra (2009/2011) [26:16]
Silenzio, for bayan, violin & cello (1991) [19:38]

Geir Draugsvoll (bayan) Anders Loguin (percussion) Geir Inge Lotsberg (violin) Trondheim Symphony Orchestra/Øyvind Gimse (cello) rec. Kolstad Church, Trondheim, 2011.

Naxos 8.572772 [56 mins]


Seven Words, In croce, Cadenza & Et exspecto Sofia Gubaidulina: Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings In croce, Cadenza, Et Exspecto - sonata for classical accordion solo

Iñaki Alberdi (accordion) & Asier Polo (cello) Basque National Orchestra/Encinar

Etcetera: KTC1433

Sofia Gubaidulina (b.1931) is a controversial composer, but surely special for how she has developed the accordion/bayan in many works. Fachwerk is for me the most impressive of these (the doube-button bayan is favoured at UK's Royal Academy of Music Accordion Department, where I recently spent an enthralling open day with performances by young and old).

It can switch the keyboard from a melodic mode to a chordal one in the same row of buttons, exploited in Fachwerk with melodic lines above and below the same row of buttons, symbolising "the essence of the Universe" for Gubaidulina.

The music is described (enthusiasticall) by Mark Sealey in an extensive review for MusicWeb which I commend. At Naxos pricing, this is a release for every musical explorer to acquire and relish.

We have enjoyed and reviewed Sofia Gubaidulina often; a good point of entry may be her CD reviewed as Sofia Gubaidulina in Augsburg. She combines and balances tradition and new techniques "in a way which makes it seem that she is taking note of neither one nor the other". Fachwerk relates to her admirationfo a specialised stle of timber framing, with its element shown openly.

Recommended to everyone, including those who are not sure what they think about modern music or the accordion as a serious musical instrument. The Naxos disc has the additional recommendation of its bargain pricing for a very sophisticated production.

Peter Grahame Woolf