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
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
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 MusicForAccordion.com - high security eCommerce
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