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Title: "The Journeyman's Test"
Artist: Accordion Duo CD featuring Lars Røyseng and Stian Aase
Supplied by: Artist
Review date: 06 February 2009

"The Journeyman's Test"

Accordion Duo CD featuring Lars Røyseng and Stian Aase

Reading from the CD notes: Lars Røyseng and Stian Aase are amongst the leading musicians on the accordion in Norway. During their studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Røyseng/Aase duo was born, and this is their first release. They have held over 300 school concerts for the Norwegian "Rikskonsertene" as well as concerts in Bulgaria, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany. Twice, the duo has received prizes in the international accordion competition in Castelfidardo, Italy. Røyseng/Aase have also won the Norwegian championships three times. In autumn of 2006, they participated in the television show "Kjempesjansen" on NRK1 that had almost 1 million viewers. The duo received many praises for both their performance in this talent show, and for the great publicity they gave the accordion.

It is easy to believe these two musicians are so highly recognized after listening to this very outstanding CD "The Journeyman's Test" and hearing not only that piece but also the several other satisfying musical offerings.

This is one CD which will appeal to many types of accordionists, whether amateur or professional. In fact the music will find approval by the general audience as well, since the repertoire is quite varied, both lively and sentimental. Each and every selection is performed extremely well. All of the arrangements are fine! Both the musicianship and technical attributes of these two performers is more than adequate to give great satisfaction to all listeners! I found it also quite entertaining...a recording which I believe you will want to listen to many times. It is understandable why they have earned many awards and the praise of listeners, including all those of the young people in the schools where they have given so many concerts.

Included on the recording are:
The Journeyman's Test (J.A. Lie), is an exciting opening piece for any program, great bellows strength shown throughout;
Mischievous Tunes (V. Gridin) a Russian standard which many will recognize quickly;
From Holberg's Time, Op. 40 (E. Grieg/Arr. L. Røyseng) featuring the Prelude, Sarabande and Rigaudoun from the famous string orchestra suite now well adapted for the duo;
Traningo - Introduction and Tango (A.-M. Saira), a very intriguing composition, lovely throughout with beautiful Left Hand work, non-intrusive percussive accents and a piece with some surprising harmonic turns;
Dance of the Grasshoppers (V. Vesterinen/Arr. A. Grothe), will make you want to dance since it is truly "toe-tapping" music performed with great care;
Moldovian Dance (A. Balan) featuring typical dance and harmonic elements for that region;
Concerto, Op. 3, No. 8 - Allegro, Larghetto e spiritoso, Allegro (A. Vivaldi/J.S. Bach/Trans. By R. Jung) performed in great Vivaldi style and finesse;
Close Your Eyes and Listen (A. Piazzolla/Arr. A.-M. Saira) one of the most beautiful of Piazzolla's works, played with great sensitivity.
The Sound of Saratov (A. Shalajev) offers another proof of the musical artistry shown throughout the CD by this duo. It is a great finale piece for the CD program.

The repertoire includes music the duo has been using since they started the duo 10 years ago and the listener becomes well aware of this great asset since the two musicians do indeed play extremely well together and in a finely balanced sound. Øivind Farmen recorded, edited and mixed the recording. I admired all of their musical efforts and believe you will, also.

CD Label/Company: AskerLadden Kulturverksted
One may learn more about the artists at

Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers - January, 2009.


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