CD Review


acCORPUS simulacrum
Raimondas Sviackevicius
Artist
08 October 2010

The Lithuanian artist, Raimondas Sviackevicius, has conceived, designed the layout for, and performed on six very outstanding compositions for accordion and several other instruments. It is a rare opportunity to hear such fine chamber music. These compositions are quite outstanding in the diversity of musical styles shown by the composers. Each composition shows off the musical abilities and abundant integrity of the performers; all are superb.

Accordionist Raimondas Sviackevicius has drawn together the various performers on Trombone (Marius Balcytis), Tenor Saxophone (Liudas Mockunas), Violoncello (Mindaugas Backus), Tuba (Sergijus Kirsenka), Tape-stereo background (Ramunas Motiekaitis) in a performance of new and quite arresting chamber music. Every performer is indeed an artist and deserves recognition.

There are well-written program notes describing each composition, as well as brief interviews with the composers, and backgrounds on all the performers. Any serious accordionist looking for interesting repertoire for his own programs would do well to examine and study all of these compositions.

So often listeners become weary of hearing the same presentation of “new” or “innovative” ideas for musicians; I believe these composers have avoided the usual clichés so often heard today. Listeners always pick favorites and this listener, of course, is no different. I found both the opening piece “Driving force” featuring trombone, tenor saxophone, and accordion to be very interesting and capable of holding one’s attention from beginning to end.

Equally important was the final piece “Songs of Sulamite” for accordion, cello and tape. It had a beautiful and haunting melodic interest throughout. The extreme ranges of both accordion and cello were used with an intelligence evoking great appreciation for both instruments. The use of the tuba in “TubAccordo Duo” was new and unusual with the balance exceedingly well-controlled between the instruments. Both the “Aria” for accordion and cello and “Surrounded” for accordion and tape-stereo background were also fine.

Raimondas Sviackevicius has not only given us an important array of chamber music compositions performed on this particular CD, he has also selected each of them quite obviously with an awareness of what is relevant for all the instruments and not just for his own, the accordion. All accordionists wishing to interest serious composers to write for their instrument would find this recording quite valuable. It could well serve as an imaginative introduction to the myriad of sounds and effects available on the accordion as well as to the sound of the instrument with other instruments.

The CD acCORPUS simulacrum by Raimondas Sviackevicius was produced with the backing of several groups under the n©b/BIEM label in 2009. More information may be had at www.sviackevivius.com


Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers, October, 2010.
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