The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores

CD Review: Acclarion
David Carovillano, accordion and Becky Sajo, clarinets

CD Image total time: 46:20
released: 2004
review date: September 2004

label: Acclarion Records
  1. Kenortango - David Carovillano
  2. Harmonious Blacksmith - G. F. Handel (Arr. Carovillano)
  3. Marionnette Fandangle - Charles T. Cozens
  4. Fast Fingers (live) - Walter Bucyznski
  5. In Paradisum - Gabriel Faure (Arr. Sajo/Carovillano)
  6. Libertango - Astor Piazzolla (Arr. Sajo/Carovillano)
  7. 2 Pieces de Cabaret - Marius Constant (Arr. Carovillano)
  8. Flight of Fancy - David Carovillano
  9. Tico, Tico - Zequina Abreu (Arr. Sajo/Carovillano)
  10. Premier Valse - M.A. Durant (Arr. Carovillano)
  11. Nessum Dorma - Giacomo Puccini (Arr. Sajo/Carovillano)
  12. That's Amore - Harry Warren (Arr. Carovillano)
  13. Klezmerized - David Carovillano

Review by: Robert Stead

Acclarion does not push the envelope by exploring new sonic territory. Acclarion does present a high degree of artistry through a range of compositions that span 300 years--from Handel to contemporary pieces composed by Carovillano. In the CD liner notes the artists claim:

"Our music is like an after dinner sweet treat. Like candies tingle your taste buds our music will tickle your ears."

They understate the quality and complexity of their music. Their selections delight the listener, and they are much more substantial than candies.

This CD had its beginning at the University of Toronto where David and Becky met and decided to play together. The marriage of the accordion and clarinet produced "Acclarion". This album demonstrates that Acclarion can cover the gamut of genres. Their selections move from cabaret to cathedral. David Carovillano composed the first piece--a tango called Kenortango (Kenora in Winnepeg Canada is Becky Sajo's hometown). It's appropriate for a tango to be a duet. The accordion and clarinet dance with each other with their lines intertwining like a tango couple. The "Harmonious Blacksmith" is clearly executed. Becky plays both clarinet and bass clarinet with the bass clarinet adding depth to the bass line. The live recording of Walter Bucyzkski's "Fast Fingers" truly demonstrates their artistry. The high register of the clarinet is very clear with a beautiful tone. For Faure's "In Paradisum" the combination of accordion and clarinet provides a very rich sound that does justice to this beautiful piece. David's artisty and the quality of his accordion (a Hohner Gola) produce the "phat" bass line. What can be said about "Libertango". I love this piece! The Sajo/Carovillano arrangement passes the melody between the clarinet and the accordion. As in "Kenortango" this duet dances together. The opening of Carovillano's piece "Flight of Fancy" reminded me of Maria Schneider's jazz composition "Hang Gliding" from her album "Allègresse". Both pieces capture the essence of motion and the feeling of being lighter than air. "Flight of Fancy" is both light hearted and pensive with the accordion switching between regular pulsing rhythmic patterns and more open and extended rhythms. The accordion alternates between harmonic/rhythmic support of the clarinet and counterpoint to the clarinet. "Tico Tico" is played with an abandon that borders on rauchous--in other words, it is fun to hear. A short passage in 3 offsets the duple meter main sections and adds a bit of seasoning to an old favorite.

Acclarion balances dance pieces (tango, waltz, klezmer, salsa) with reflective works such as "In Paradisum" and "Nessun Dorma". We could say that Canada meets France, the Middle East, Italy, Vienna, Latin America, and the cathedral walls and unifies it all with superb artistry.

For order information please visit Acclarion's website:

What Becky and Dave say about the selections: CD Image
A true dance of love (Hot enough to melt a frozen lake!)
Harmonious Blacksmith:
We were inspired by Murray Perahia's exuberant performance. We also think Handel would have written it first for the accordion and clarinet if he could have gotten his hands on them.
Marionette Fandangle:
The side show is closed for the night. A lone marionette loosens its strings to finally dance freely till dawn breaks once more.
Fast Fingers:
We wonder if everyone heard this during rush hour .. would it make the traffic move fasten
In Paradisum:
The last movement from Faure's Requiem - a celebration of life. We thought it might help calm the adrenaline rush from Fast Fingers.
When it awaits you, seize the moment or freedom can dart away and disappear before your eyes.
2 Pieces de Cabaret:
From the composer of the Twilight Zone theme, come visions of the cafe musicians and wild night clubs of "gay Paris".
Flight of Fancy:
Imagine you could soar through the air, dive through clouds, float on a breeze, and then, on a gust of wind, disappear far into the sky!
Tico Tico:
Inspired by David's latin alter ego Avidos Villanis. He dances while he plays and makes the ladies swoon. Ooo la la signor!
Premiere Valse:
Marie Auguste Durand might have written this piece after riding a few too many times on the carousel. We think he might have especially liked the horses that went up and down.
Nessun Dorma:
We were hoping Pavarotti would make a surprise appearance at the studio. You never know about those Italian connection.
That's Amore:
Dedicated to all the delicious cuisines of the world. May pasta fazool, pad thai, and gulab jamuns fill your plate from now until eternity.
A soulful blend of jazz, klezmer, and classical styles. Inspired by our love of eclectic music and each other.

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