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Title: Images of Three Centuries (solo accordion)
Resurrection of Angel / A. Piazzolla
Artist: Yuri Medianik (with Gnesin Virtuosi soloists & chamber orchestra / Makhail Khokhlov conductor & arrangements)
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Review date: 03 May 2005

Here without doubt we meet a great virtuoso. Once one discovers that Yuri Medianik is also a violinist par excellence, then one remains indeed amazed by such outstanding talent. From the accordion point of view, Medianik is a product of the most important "bellows school" of players from Russia: the Gnessin Institute, and in particular a student of Semionov.

He has two hands that are very impressive (in particular the left): listen to Daquin, Paganini or Liszt in order to believe; he performs Scarlatti with such a gentle touch and clarity that is not easy to find elsewhere; He performs two compositions from his teacher (n. 1 and Guelder Roses) in an outstanding way.

The precise playing is one of his strong points of his performances. Can I blame him if hearing him perform Couperin, which does not appeal to me and I would never perform Rachmaninov on the accordion, as all Russian accordionists have done before him, but not as well! No, I cannot blame him.

A composer that Yuri has understood very well musically is Astor Piazzolla. This one can clearly verify with the last track of the CD "Images of Three Centuries" as in all 13 tracks of "Resurrection of Angel". Firstly because he is not playing Piazzolla by himself. This is of great credit to him. Many artists - also excellent names, could not resist the temptation of performing "Libertango" or "Escualo" or some Milonga "in solo" losing notes, accents and above all the "groove" of the Nuevo Tango originally composed for quartet or other bigger formations.

Another of his positive merits is his choice of collaborators and fellow musicians - generally all young people; a figure in particularly emerging clearly in this disc of Piazzolla is Makhail Khokhlov, director, arranger and pianist. Beyond his perfect approaches to this musical style he gains the recognition in merit of good arrangements (exploitation of the vibraphone) and to have purposely created the four agrangements for accordion and string orchestra "Seasons porteñe".

The way Medianik plays the bajan does not make you notice the absence of the bandoneon: faithful to the score, he does not over elaborate and he interprets the melodies with great passion "singing them" in marvellous, easy and courageous ways when the need arises. A musician amongst musicians.

Personally, I do not know if these are the first two CD's of Yuri, but if it they are, then one must admit, that he started from a very high level indeed.

Purchase CD "Images of Three Centuries" (solo accordion) online.

This CD is available on the Yuri Medianik site on - high security eCommerce site run by, part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

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