Accordion Sensations by Paul Chamberlain Review by Joan Cochran Sommers.

Accordion Sensations

Paul Chamberlain

Paul Chamberlain

November 2014

Accordion Sensations

Paul Chamberlain was one of the first classical accordionists to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where he studied with Djordje Gajic. He graduated with a BMus (Hons) degree and subsequently graduated from the Conservatoire with a Master of Music Performance with Distinction. He has proven to be an active concert artist with appearances around the globe and has released another CD titled CLASSICAL ACCORDION in addition to this new one titled ACCORDION SENSATIONS. Both CDs are well worth the space in your collection of accordion recordings! Paul Chamberlain performs every selection very well and with the necessary attention and devotion to details. ACCORDION SENSATIONS includes the following interesting and outstanding repertoire: Konzertstück in F minor (Carl Maria von Weber) 1. Larghetto affetuoso 5:20 2. Allegro passionate 5:05 3. Tempo di Marcia 2:42 4. Presto giocoso 5:39 5. Sonata in F# minor – K 25 (Domenico Scarlatti) 2:40 6. Sonata in G major – K455 (Domenico Scarlatti) 2:50 Tango Sensations (Astor Piazzolla)(accordion & string quartet) 7. Asleep 6:27 8. Loving 5:05 9. Fear 3:55 Sonata No. 2 (Vladislav Zolotariev) 10. Allegro ingenuo 6:38 11. Adagio tranquillo molto 4:00 12. Vivacissimo con spirito 3:40 13. Le Grand Tango (Astor Piazzolla)(violin & accordion) 8:53 Total time 62:54 Accordion audiences rarely hear the complete Konzertstück, so it is quite pleasant to hear all four of the movements, especially since many competition entrants tend to make cuts in the original. Listening to all four movements helps make us aware of the original importance of this piece as a major work.

Both of the Scarlatti Sonatas work extremely well for the accordion and once again demonstrate how the accordion can perform the repertoire of this period and, quite especially, the works of this composer.

The music of Astor Piazzolla seems to be almost required these days on both solo recitals and in performance with chamber groups. The pieces heard on this CD are some of the most popular, as well they should be. Le Grand Tango was originally composed for Cello and Piano in 1982, but subsequently arranged for Violin and Piano by the famous Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina. Other arrangements followed; this one being made by Paul Chamberlain for Violin and Accordion. Feargus Hetherington ( is the violinist in this important Piazzolla work.

Asleep, Loving and Fear come from Five Tango Sensations for String Quartet and Bandoneon written in 1989 and they, too, have become popular in various arrangements. The Maxwell Quartet ( performs beautifully with Mr. Chamberlain. Listeners will appreciate once again how well the accordion blends with strings!

The Vladislav Zolotariev Sonata No. 2 became one of the most performed accordion/bayan solos in world competitions for many years. Like all Zolotariev works, it is demanding, and explores the many sounds and techniques so important to the instrument and for the performer to demonstrate during competitive events. It is a melodic piece with an exciting ending and one which performers enjoy performing and audiences love to hear. Mr. Chamberlain has rightfully included his performance of it on this particular CD.

Paul Chamberlain demonstrates his artistry and his technical proficiencies very well throughout this CD. All of the repertoire is important and represents many possibilities available to modern day accordionists. Students of the instrument should avail themselves of the opportunity to hear each and every one of these pieces again and again while others will simply enjoy hearing the varied repertoire so very well performed. There are well-written liner notes, too. I recommend the CD to all who like the accordion or who want to know more about its possibilities.

ACCORDION SENSATIONS was engineered by Matt Harvey@Maybank Studios.
Paul Chamberlain may be contacted at

Reviewed by Joan C.Sommers - November 2014.

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