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Reviewer: Joan Cochran Sommers
Title: Southern Impressions
Artist: Jacek Grekow (classical accordion)
Supplied by: Artist
Review date: 28 March 2008

Southern Impressions has one of the most beautiful CD covers of any I have seen on an accordion recording. It is not only of a gorgeous young woman but it is also extremely intriguing and inviting; one cannot help but want to listen to the music inside! The designer should be very pleased for the concept; in my opinion, it really works.

The liner notes are very well written and informative with all the necessary Opus numbers so requisite of serious recordings and published programs. Thank you! The recording balance sometimes had the left hand overshadowing that of the right hand but mostly quite satisfactory. One may detect a little "buzz" or artificiality in the very low bass notes but, frankly, that particular effect is reminiscent of the striking of chords in the low range of the harpsichord.

The repertoire is interesting, of course, and is generally well-known. Many musicians, pianists and accordionists alike, have struggled to learn the pieces; therefore, this recording is a good example for study and consideration. The only original accordion composition included was the popular Ole Schmidt Toccata #2 which in my opinion was the least satisfying performance on the CD, not only because of the slow tempo but also because of the lack of dynamic accentuation and effervescence associated with this piece.

Jacek Grekow's performances are beautifully sensitive and admirable in many ways; however, with that said, one might also find some of them lacking in a certain excitement and fire, emanating from within the performer, reactions that are so required and necessary in order to ignite the emotions in the listener. It seemed he was always in a conservative, cautious and controlled environment, both with dynamics and tempi. His performances might have been better if he had taken a chance and provoked more fervor. Everything was pretty, sensitive, and measured, maybe just a bit too much so. The music may have warranted even more contrast in his dynamics and in his technique styles. He had some stunning pianissimos but he needed some fortissimos, too. His legatos were also beautiful but, again, I wanted some distinction in the phrasing, more variety in the touch, whether within the long phrase or on single notes.

Mr. Grekow is a fine player and this CD is absolutely worthy of your attention. It has many fine qualities for study and enjoyment. It is recommended without qualification. He may be reached at (+48) 85 742 44 22 or E-mail: Or you may go to for more information.

CD Review Joan Cochran Sommers - 28 March, 2008