Friday, February 13, 2009
Music for four accordions
Charles Ives, Umberto Giordano, Osvaldo Golijov, Paul Hindemith and Alban Berg all wrote music for accordion. So did Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; in fact he wrote a score that calls for four diatonic button accordions. Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 2 for Orchestra is not as well known as the Suite No. 4 'Mozartiana'. Which is surprising: as they say on Amazon, if you like Tchikovsky's ballets you will like his Suite no. 2. Or is it because, as they say in the music director's office today: - if your score needs four accordions don't expect us to programme it?
I have Michael Tilson Thomas' recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra; which also includes 'Mozartiana'. The performance is excellent as is the sound. The latter is explained by CBS sub-contracting the recording to EMI. The venue was Abbey Road Studio One in 1981 with EMI's Neville Boyling at the mixing desk. My research indicates that this CD of the two orchestral suites is currently only available as part of a Tchaikovsky symphony box. Now read about Wagner rescored for accordion.
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