Richness of the Tones by Esra Pehlivanli (Viola) and Marko Kassl (Accordion) - Album Review in English by Joan Cochran Sommers.

Richness of the Tones

Esra Pehlivanli (Viola) and Marko Kassl (Accordion)

Esra Pehlivanli (Viola) and Marko Kassl (Accordion)
11 June 2012

Richness of the Tones

We have heard the music of Esra Pehlivanli and Marko Kassl, known as Duo Mares (founded 2004), in the past and, once again, these fine musicians have provided us with interesting repertoire all performed exceedingly well. The viola and the accordion as presented by this duo are so equally matched in every manner that one forgets to separate their performances in any way. It is a remarkable combination of both players and instruments. Serious accordionists searching for repertoire will do themselves a big favor if they check out the music presented on this new CD.

There are 9 composers represented on the 11 compositions performed by Duo Mares. Some of the pieces were originally written for other instruments but were then arranged by the composer or by Duo Mares with the full cooperation of the composer; others were written specifically for the duo. All pieces seem to be so natural and perfectly suited to the form we hear on this CD that one cannot believe they are not equal to, or even better than, the composer’s original conception.

Not all are easy to understand upon the first hearing; most listeners will need to listen at least several times in order to appreciate, or perhaps to enjoy, a couple of the more complex compositions. Other pieces are extraordinarily stunning in their beauty. However, every piece is exciting and demanding of the listener’s attention.

The array of composers and their compositions is most arresting. The composers, H.A. Toker, S. Doğru, M. Sun, M. C. Özer, O. Özmen, Y. Kolat, T. Z. Özdemir, G. Altay, and R. de Man, all have successful careers as composers for many different instruments, teaching and lecturing in major universities in several countries, but they have now written repertoire including the accordion perhaps for the first time and, it is hoped, not for the last time. Their contributions to the accordion repertoire once again prove that the accordion’s list of available repertoire is no longer short or lacking; it is substantial, growing by leaps and bounds, both in quality and in quantity. This recording features the duo alone, the duo with tape recording, and the duo with The Symphony Orchestra of Anatolian University (Turkey) under direction of conductor Surak Tüzün. All performances are stunning.

The artistry shown by both artists, Esra Pehlivanli and Marko Kassl, in Duo Mares is exemplary! It is no wonder that the composers heard on this new CD agreed to be represented by this duo. Duo Mares certainly does far more than justice to the compositions. I would urge all accordionists interested in finding new repertoire to examine the possibilities presented on this CD. I would go further and urge you to explore your own pairings of the accordion with other instruments. Duo Mares has shown how well the viola and the accordion adapt to, and feature the best qualities of, each instrument. It will inspire you.

The multi-language liner notes on the recording are also very fine and comprehensive. They explain the pieces well and list the backgrounds and accomplishments of the composers as well as those of the performers. The hard-backed, multi-paged accompanying photos and art work also contribute to the overall superior professional presentation of the CD. TINILARIN ZENGINLIĞI - Richness of the Tones deserves the attention of all accordionists and should be in the growing collection of outstanding performances now available. The sound quality is also superb, matching and enhancing the other excellent aspects of this CD. It is produced by ÇAĞSAV Müzik. The CD may be ordered from AUGEMUS

Reviewed by Joan Cochran Sommers –June 11, 2012.

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