with the Sonata String Quintet
and Ho Thi The Van, piano
Rimsky Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee
Dinicu-Heifetz: Hora Staccato
Kreisler: Schon Rosmarin
Total Time: 48:30
Released in 1995
Label: Disques ATMA Records (AGCD 22105)
6242, rue Durocher
Outremont, Quebec H2V 3Y8
Review by Henry Doktorski:
Romanian born Marin Nasturica is indeed a virtuoso of the accordion; his right-hand technique is dazzling, the tone of his instrument is incredibly round and sweet, and (most important of all) his taste is very refined.
Virtuoso features eleven tasteful transcriptions of standard Romantic violin and piano works, plus four transcriptions of Bach harpsichord & violin pieces. The arrangements are superb; throughout most of the album the accordion is supported and contrasted by strings and piano, just as a shimmering diamond is framed by a golden setting. Every piece on the album is a gem. Nasturica's performance of the Chopin Prelude in Em is exquisite and his rendition of an excerpt from the Katchaturian ballet, Lezghinka, is exhilarating.
Many of the pieces feature two right hand accordion parts which were recorded by Mr. Nasturica separately (sound on sound) in the recording studio. The end result sounds like two virtuoso accordionists performing a duet together. The Bach keyboard pieces (originally written for harpsichord) are unusual, yet distinctive; the accordion plays only the right hand part and the piano plays only the left. This provides a nice contrast and highlights the melodic genius of Bach's counterpoint.
The only drawback in the entire album is that occasionally the accordion and the ensemble are not quite together rhythmically. This is especially noticeable in the Bach Prelude and Fugue where sometimes the pianist momentarily lags behind the accordionist and has to rush to catch up. I wish the performers would have recorded more takes and spliced the best parts together.
Despite this weak point, Virtuoso by Marin Nasturica is an album of exquisite taste and beauty, and will be a welcome addition to the libraries of aficionados of bel canto accordion music.
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