Here's your disc of the week for Sept. 15, 2013. Each week CBC Radio 2's In Concert looks at new classical music releases and selects one recording that you'll want to know about.
Artists: Ksenija Sidorova, accordion, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Clark Rundell.
Repertoire: Works for accordion and orchestra, along with solo pieces.
Label: Champs Hill Records.
Ah, the accordion. That instrument most often encountered at rural weddings, celebrations involving heavy doses of garlic and reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show.
Yes, there are some outstanding Canadian accordionists who have achieved true distinction — Joseph Macerolla and Joseph Petric to name just two. But now there’s a newcomer on the international scene who may well give the instrument a much-needed shot of glamour.
Her name is Ksenija Sidorova and she’s a striking, 25-year-old Latvia native who has just released her second CD on the British Champs Hill label. And it’s completely captivating. The repertoire combines both transcriptions of familiar classics (Holst’s Holberg Suite, the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn) along with music written specifically for the instrument over the past 100 years or so by Moritz Moskowski and Petr Londonov.
Sidorova, whose grandmother encouraged her to play folk tunes on the accordion, moved to London at the age of 16 to study at the Royal Academy of Music where she received top academic honours. She has recently become the toast of the European summer classical music festival circuit and has conquered discerning audiences in some of the most conservative concert halls in the world.
What makes it all work is that Sidorova is a virtuoso with an extraordinary expressive range. So if you’re at all accordion-curious, this is a great place to start.
Here's some Piazzolla from the disc to give you a taste.
Ksenija Sidorova plays "Oblivion" by Astor Piazzolla.
on Sep 14, 2013