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Title: Encore
Artist: Romano Viazzani
Supplied by: Artist
Review date: 10 October 2008

Encore - Romano Viazzani

Romano Viazzani is an accordion teacher and a popular performer on the UK accordion circuit. He is also a tireless advocate of the accordion, memorably organising the London Accordion Show in 2001. He currently promotes two accordion brands, one acoustic and one digital, throughout the UK at clubs and festivals.

Here we hear him playing solo on the acoustic instrument.

This album represents a personal choice by the artist of standards, original compositions and unusual transcriptions, a varied and interesting mix that provides the listener a good opportunity to hear the full range of the accordions’ tonal capabilities and the players’ considerable dexterity.

It starts with what has, rightly, become a modern classic – Richard Galliano’s “Tango pour Claude”. Viazzani powers into this tune confidently and delivers a good rendition. Then a surprise – two tunes from Paul Weller of the Style Council. It’s nice to hear something new and different. The original version of “Party Chambers” predominantly featured the Hammond organ here replaced by Viazzani’s accordion (perhaps more reminiscent of a Wurlitzer). Although Weller’s “The Paris Match” did actually feature an accordion solo (by Jean Louis Roques). Here, the accordion takes over completely to provide an instrumental version that works very well.

The first of two original compositions follows – “Baba Bossa” a tune that again started life as a song but is excellent for solo accordion.“Indifference” is the players’ words – “the archetypal French musette waltz” and I agree completely.

The tango medley of “Por una Cabeza” and “Adios Muchachos” is followed by another of Viazzani’s own compositions, this time a French musette, and the style of his playing and tonal qualities of the accordion, makes one forget, that he is actually playing a rather large piano accordion as opposed to the “true” musette instrument – the three reed button accordion.

I do not think that any accordionist would omit a Piazzola composition in his own personal choice CD and here we find arguably the most emotional of them all - “Adios Nonino”.

The album closes strongly and in upbeat mood with “Variations on The Carnival of Venice “ by Gigi Stok based on Paganini’s original melody.

The recording has been carefully produced by another well-known English player, Eddy Jay, who is also the sound engineer. At times perhaps the reverb is a little too strong but generally the sound is very good. The microphones have been set up well to give the bass section just enough clarity without becoming overpowering and the lower frequencies of the keyboard ample bite.

The ability of the player and the tonal qualities of the accordion are put under close examination in this work and both pass with flying colours.

This album was produced around the same time as two others by the artist: the first a tribute to Gigi Stok and the second a more classical album featuring the works of Bobic, Vivaldi and Bach amongst others. We may get time to review these a later date but both are also well worth listening to.

Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers, October 2008

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

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