The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores
Book Review: Brennpunkte I (Band 5)
Aufsätze, Gespräche, Meinungen und sachinformationen zum Themenbereich Akkordeon
total pages: 107
Review by Henry Doktorski:
Scholarly books about the accordion are as rare as accordion scholars, but Ralf Kaupenjohann has admirably succeeded in putting the two together in a fascinating anthology of essays, conversations, reviews and factual information about the accordion, titled Brentpunkte I —Hot Points.
The first section of Brennpunkte I is an introduction called Editorial.
The second section, titled Komponisternporträt (A Portrait of the Composer)—featured composer David P. Graham. There were three parts: the first: an interview with Graham by concert accordionist Helmut C. Jacobs. Two pages from the score of Graham's Shards (a concerto for accordion and nine instruments (flute/ piccolo, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, percussion, viola, cello and contrabass) were reproduced. The second part was a short article by Christoph Keller which described Graham's Four Short Pieces for violin and accordion. Included were musical examples from each movement. The third part was a list of Graham's complete works.
The third section, Artikel (by Ralf Kaupenjohann) was an explanation of the manufacture of Italian reeds, along with several illustrations.
The fourth section, titled Berichte (Reports), was composed of nine sections by four authors. Maria Dunkel wrote about A Backward Glance of the Accordion Exhibit of the Brussels Instrument Museum in Summer of 1994 . Ralf Kaupenjohann wrote three articles: 1) The Accordion in the Concert Music of the Studio Concerts of WDR 1993 in Köln, 2) The Emancipation of the Concert Instruments (a brief history of the accordion), and 3) The Accordion in Concert Music.
Ute Pukropski wrote about the compositions for accordion by Christoph Keller and Martin Vogt wrote a wonderful introduction to the harmonium, which explained the difference between a Saugluftharmonium and a Druckluftharmonium (a harmonium which has a bellows which sucks air in and a harmonium which as a bellows which blows air out) and also included a chart of stops. This part concluded with three sections by Ralf Kaupenjohann: the first was a list of original works for harmonium, the second a bibliography, and the third: a discography of recordings of works written for harmonium.
The fifth part, Besprechungen, or Critical Reviews, was composed of eight sections. Bärbel Hölzing wrote about American Lisa Ann Cleveland's dissertation: An Analysis of Referential Collections in the Contemporary Accordion Works of Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist. Helmut C. Jacobs wrote about Carlos Kuri's article about Piazzolla— La musica limite, and Stefan Kames wrote an incredibly comprehensive article about Wolfgang Eschenbacher's Music and Music Education with Accordion. Jutta Lambrecht wrote about Bärbel Hölzing's Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist: Catalog of Works and Discography. Norbert Laufer wrote about Two Books of Jürg Baur's 75th Birthday: Catalog of Works, Analysis and Personal Comments. Finally, Martin Vogt wrote about Christoph Wagner's book: Das Akkordeon - Eine wilde Karriere—(A Wild Career).
Truly, this publication will be treasured by German-readers as well as non-German-readers. Although my knowledge of German is limited, as I explained earlier, I still found this volume, Brennpunkte I, to be invaluable in my own research for my book The Classical Squeezebox, as I found the chapter on the original repertoire for harmonium to be unexcelled. I believe all scholars and lovers of the accordion (and harmonium) should have this book in their library.
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