Stories » DG artists - Ksenija Sidorova & Richard Galliano make 'Musical Toronto's 'Record Keeping'

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DG artists - Ksenija Sidorova & Richard Galliano make 'Musical Toronto's 'Record Keeping'

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Deutsche Grammophon seems to be deliberately seeking artists with both a command of familiar and beloved classical repertoire and a special popular appeal, the formula in these new CDs being excellence of performance coupled with well-known music in fresh arrangements. Most of the freshness in these new CDs comes from the chosen instrument, an accordion. The accordion is not known as an instrument of choice by classical musicians, but played by the likes of Ksenija Sidorova and Richard Galliano respectively, it makes the perhaps overly familiar music of Bizet and Mozart sound newly-minted. All the arrangements, by the way, are done with great taste and respect for the original scores.

The Latvian accordionist, Ksenija marks her Deutsche Grammophon debut with an album driven by her identification with Bizet's famously free-spirited femme fatale. Ksenija's Carmen gives new life to some of the most popular of all classical melodies, presented here in seductively fresh arrangements. She describes the character of Carmen as, above all, "a projection of the heart's most intimate desires". In response, her album, influenced by Latin, Asian, European and North American musical styles, offers an intoxicating mix of tone colors and pulsating rhythms.

Legendary accordionist Richard Galliano again forges new paths in classical music with this album of well-known Mozart pieces arranged for him and a string quintet. The third album of classical repertoire from the legendary jazz accordionist, this follows his successful albums of Bach and Vivaldi. Richard Galliano shows a clear empathy for the music of Mozart, largely borne from his origins playing classical music at the beginning of his career before turning his attentions to jazz. "Playing Mozart on the accordion and the bandoneon!" jested Galliano. "It's true that it's something that doesn't happen every day. The public finds it hard to imagine… are accordionists afraid to play Mozart' But in my opinion no music ever sounded so obvious. Like J.S. Bach's compositions, Mozart sounds marvelous on an accordion."

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