The Jewel of the Accordion by Pearl Fawcett-Adriano - Album Review in English by Rob Howard.


Claudio Jacomucci

Claudio Jacomucci
10 May 2012


The new recording by the Italian artist, Claudio Jacomucci, is stunning! The repertoire is very outstanding and exciting from all viewpoints. It is always good to hear new or unexplored repertoire recorded so very well and made available for everyone to share.

Claudio Jacomucci is a fine musician, one with sensitivity as well as the technique to execute his musical thoughts. He has also written informative comments, enlightening us to the reasons for selecting this particular repertoire and its composers, several of whom you may not have heard before now. Whether original or arranged, the compositions heard on this recording are well worth investigating and the CD would be a meaningful addition to any serious collection one may have.

The composers represented on this recording are quite interesting to read about; students might consider researching any one of them. Egberto Gismonti (b. 1947) began as a young pianist although eventually playing guitar as well. He studied with the famous Nada Boulanger and became attracted to the composer Ravel’s approach to orchestration and chord voicings. He has written much music for ballet, movie scores, TV, theatre, painting and sculpting exhibitions, and for many different ensembles. The opening piece on this CD, Malandro, is a very popular one and may be viewed on You Tube performed by several, including Claudio Jacomucci. It demands much control of the extensive use of the bellows shake techniques. In fact, you may find You Tube performances of other pieces on this CD. The second piece by Gismonti is the lovely and beautiful Agna & Vinho, with the contrasting and often somewhat disturbing dissonances offering so much to the overall beauty of the piece. Loro is the third piece by Gismonti and, again, it is striking with its rhythmic accents.

All of the composers represented bring unusual talents to the CD. Hermeto Pascoal (b. 1936) is a greatly beloved musical figure in the music of Brazil, well known for his abilities at orchestration and improvisation. He plays many instruments, including keyboards, button accordion, melodica, saxophones, and flute. Miles Davis, with whom he recorded, said that Pascoal was “the most impressive musician in the world.” Pascoal has performed at several important musical venues throughout the world, including the Barbican and at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. The Chorinho pra ele, represented here, is again very popular and one may well understand why. The melody and its various rhythms demand a clean technique which Jacomucci brings to his performance.

Paolo Marzocchi (b. 1971), pianist and composer for many theatre and cinema presentations, may be seen playing piano on You Tube. His composition Albanian Folk Song No. 1 with its lively dance-like melodies is catchy and is the next piece on this CD. The accordion brings a true and intrinsically authentic folk quality to the piece. Marzocchi has appeared as soloist and has had his music performed in some of the most important music venues in the world. He has many commissioned pieces to his credit.

The Georgian, Otar Taktakishvili (1924-1989), was a composer, teacher, conductor and musicologist. His many awards included the People’s Artist of the USSA (1974) and the Lenin Prize (1982). Panduri appears on this CD. It provides another fine demonstration of the need for precise use of exact bellows shake technique in such a piece. I found it very imaginative.

Vittorio Fassone (1872-1953) is represented by his Neopolitan Song “Ncopp” a ll’onna, written in 1918 to the text of Bovio. Beginning in the high registers of the accordion, it is a sumptuously beautiful song. Fittingly, Fassone studied with Eduardo di Capua, the famous composer of O Sole Mio and Marie, Ah Marie, both made popular and recorded by so many singers.

Claudio Jacomucci not only performs the next piece Aracne from The Rite of the Tarantula; he is indeed the composer! It is instantly arresting, once again requiring the bellows shake and dynamic control; it will demand your attention. It is immediately exciting and brings many pictures to your mind. He may be reached at

The composer Efisio Melis (1890-1970), a child prodigy sometimes compared as having a talent such as both Bach and Mozart, is heard next with his Mediana for the traditional launeddas. The piece reminds the listener of an era far removed because of the drone and ornate ornamentation exhibited. Melis was considered the greatest performer ever on this traditional instrument, the launeddas, a wind instrument which is often called the triple clarinet because of its three pipes. The launeddas is many times used in religious ceremonies and dances. It is polyphonic and is played by using the circular breathing technique, one which is used by players of the Chinese Sheng, too. The accordion, of course, is extremely suitable to this style.

The last composer represented on this recording is the Argentinean, Astor Piazzolla. While many players today include Piazzolla in their repertoire, these three arrangements by Claudio Jacomucci are not just ordinary and usual. La Muerte del Angel, Chiquilin de Bachin, and Michelangelo 70 will bring your attention once again to the genius of the composer and reveal many of the reasons for the distinguished character, charisma and continuing popularity of his enormous output of music.

You will enjoy the music on this CD by Claudio Jacomucci. The recording, editing, and graphics are by the performer; he has obviously listened well since all the nuances of the instrument are clearly heard, evenly distributed from bottom to top throughout the registers in both hands. I certainly recommend this CD titled BEYOND. The number is Blowout Records - CD003.

Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers – May 2012.

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