07 September 2014

Genevieve Lacey and James Crabb

Late this afternoon I went to a wonderful Musica Viva performance in Armidale Town Hall: Genevieve Lacey (recorders) and James Crabb (classical accordion). No I didn't know there was such a thing as a classical accordion either, and was wondering what to expect, but there is, and it's a pretty serious instrument - a lot of intricate mechanisms to enable all the required chords to be played in both major and minor keys. About $50,000 worth and weighing in at 20 kg. In the hands of a master it makes a wonderful sound - or rather, a wonderful range of sounds: best thought of as a kind of portable organ. They played a very diverse program, from 16th century music (Diego Ortiz, Palestrina, Matthew Locke, Jacob van Eyck) to Bach, children's songs by Chick Corea, an extraordinary solo piece for classical accordion by John Zorn - a representation of the musical score for a Road Runner cartoon - some commissioned pieces written by composer friends, finishing with renditions of two folk songs from Crabb's native Scotland. Don't miss them if you have the chance to hear them. Well worth it, and their enthusiasm for what they are doing is infectious.

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