Accordionist Gives Virtuoso Display of Classical Works

09/08/2014

 Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 (3) – Classical Accordion at the Fringe: Paul Chamberlain, Over-Seas House, 9.8.2014 (SRT)

This is my biggest surprise of the festival so far, and a pleasant one at that.  Paul Chamberlain used his accordion to shake off the instrument’s image as a background bandstand accompanist, and argues a convincing case for its place as a provider of virtuoso showpieces.

He began his programme with a pretty breathtaking run through Khatchaturian’s Toccata, blowing the cobwebs off any preconceptions that you may have of the instrument, and he proceeded through a well-chosen programme – including Scarlatti, Piazzolla and Zolotaryov – which showed off everything his instrument could do.

He brought an astonishing breadth of colours and styles to the instrument’s necessarily limited range, but I was especially impressed not only by his quicksilver fingerwork, but also by the way he made the accordion’s rustic wheeze sound not only jolly but also, by turns, dramatic, threatening or stormy as need be.

The concert culminated in a stunning run through Weber’s Konzertstück which was amazing in its range of colours and its quickfire attack of the notes.  If you hadn’t known it was originally written for a full orchestra then you probably wouldn’t have guessed.

Chamberlain himself is a modest, diffident presence on the stage, and I liked the way he gave us a tour of his Russian-designed instrument, showing what all the different parts could do.  This was his final Fringe show, but I’ll certainly watch out for him in future.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 25th August at a range of venues across the city.  For full details click here.

 

Simon Thompson

Print Friendly

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music at London’s Southbank Centre in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music in 2017-18 at London’s Barbican __________________________________
  • NEW! 2017 50th Blossom Music Festival season in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio __________________________________
  • NEW! The Carnegie Hall 2017-2018 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Preview of the LA Opera 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Grange Park Opera’s 2017 Season in its New Opera House __________________________________
  • NEW! Garsington Opera’s Extended 2017 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2017-18 Barbican Classical Music Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Symphonic Soundscapes: Cadogan Hall and RPO Announce Exclusive Collaboration with Digital App Octava __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2017 Aldeburgh Festival is from 9 to 25 June __________________________________
  • NEW! The Grange Festival’s First Season in June and July 2017 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! PIANIST ALEXANDER KARPEYEV IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • UPDATED IN MEMORIAM NICOLAI GEDDA (1925-2017) __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! Reviews of Opera in Mumbai: A Gala and La Bohème Revisited __________________________________
  • NEW! FIVE YOUNG SINGERS JOIN THE JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS FOR 2017 __________________________________
  • NEW! THE SOPRANO ELISABETH MEISTER: FIGHTING BACK FROM WHAT LIFE THROWS AT YOU AND INSPIRING OTHERS __________________________________
  • NEW! REVIEWERS OF SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL PICK THEIR BEST OF 2016 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Mastersingers Celebrate Wagner Past and Present with the Rehearsal Orchestra __________________________________
  • NEW! MARTYN BRABBINS IS ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA’S NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H