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Dip Your Ears, No. 246 (Accordion-Journey: Teodoro Anzellotti in Satie)

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Erik Satie, Keyboard Works arr. for Accordion
Teodoro Anzellotti
(Winter & Winter)

Transcriptions and adaptations of music for accordion are not that hard to find; it’s an instrument that lends itself to grabbing music written for other – especially keyboard – instruments and it hasn’t that much original classical music in the repertoire to fall back on. But there are few accordion players who so consistently pick interesting material and reshape it with such skill and genius as does Teodoro Anzellotti, as his recordings on the boutique label Winter & Winter over the last 20 years testify.

This one, of works by Erik Satie recorded in 1998, was the first to come out. The interpretations depict just the playful whimsy, the witty and coy sides of Satie we know – certainly in the opening cycle of piano-vignettes titled Sports et divertissements. But Anzellotti can also be somber and grave, as in the Jules Massenet-based Rêverie Du Pauvre. The barcarole-like swing of Petite ouverture à danser is sweetly lulling and the famous Gnossiennes are of contemplative beauty, with their long lines enhanced on the accordion, compared to the percussive piano. There’s a meditative quality to the accordion that Anzellotti can tap into, that would make a pianist’s version sound mellow to the point of sedate, while his interpretation still seems alert. The resulting alienation-effect is one of the many aspects that makes this recording a niche-classic.


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