Thursday, January 31, 2008

Playing Franck on the Accordion

A few years ago, I visited Vienna, and it was a most glorious time. I ran into many street musicians there, and it was from them that I first learned that the accordion could be played beautifully, that it need not be all oom-pa-pa polka music.

Nevertheless, I was still shocked when I went YouTubing for Cesar Franck's Chorale in E Major and found only one recording of it--played on an accordion by Aleksander Skljarov, who's apparently a virtuoso accordionist. (Stay with me; do NOT scroll down to the next post.) Perhaps it's my fascination with things strange that got me to click on this video, but I must say that the reward was great--much more than I ever expected. Excellence really can be found in some surprising places at times, and this is one of those times (although it should be noted that the accordion shares some similarities with the harmonium, for which Franck did indeed write). Be sure to watch both these clips:

PLEASE NOTE: Keep comments focused on the music, not on the furniture in the background, nor on that thorny issue of concerts in church.

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