CD Review

“HEIMAT”, Leos Janacek, Stefan Heucke

Marko Kassl – Tobias Bredohl (Akkordeon – Klavier)
21 November 2008

“HEIMAT”, Leos Janacek, Stefan Heucke – Marko Kassl – Tobias Bredohl (Akkordeon – Klavier)

This CD is the confirmation ( if any were needed) of the validity or rather, the great potential of the combination of accordion and piano. This confirmation is provided here by the very capable duo of the accordionist Marko Kassl and the pianist Tobias Bredohl.

The two musicians provide an interesting programme: a kaliedascope of musical colors and atmospheres; concentrated around two collections of short pieces: On an Overgrown Path by the Cech ( Moldovian at the time ) Leos Janacek (1854-1928) and Heimat op. 49 by the composer Stefan Heucke who also provides transciptions of the Janacek pieces for accordion and piano.

The well known collection On an Overgrown Path, based on popular moldovan melodies, is a “voyage” through ten pieces originally composed for solo harmonium (the first 5, written in 1901-02) and for pianoforte solo (from n.6, written in 1908); only afterwards the composer decided to publish , in Prague, the entire collection for piano.

These are rather intimate and refined pieces and the successful elaboration by the duo gives added timbrical value, by the sonoric superimpostions of the two instruments, to the original material. Whilst working on the above transcription for the duo Kassl/Bredohl, the idea and inspiration for Heimat was formed (and which gives title to the CD ) by way of “seven sketches and an epilog” here as a first original recording.

Even this work is a sort of cycle that represents various points of contact with the collection of works by Janacek whilst the character and style of the pieces remains varied. This is without doubt one of the most signifciant works in the repetoire for accordion and piano, highlighting the enormous sonoric potential of this particular musical formation.

This potential has been masterfully exposed and demonstrated by this duo who have made a record which is highly recommended not only to those who are passionate about “classical accordion” but also to those who love good music!

Reviewed by Alessandro Mugnoz, November 2008
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