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

CD Review: Jeanette Dyremose Ensemble
Sparkling Moments


  • Per Nørgård: Winds I-III
  • Jonas Tamulionis: Toccata Diavolesca
  • Bronislaw Kazimierz Przybylski: Blaue Hortensie
  • Lars Graugaard: Tempest
  • Per Nørgård: Abendlied und Märchenfarben
  • Hans Boll: Fantasia, Toccata & Fuga über DDHE und BACH
  • Jeanette & Lars Dyremose: Danish Rhapsody
  • Russian Traditional: Äpfelchen
  • Emil Nokolaus von Reznicek: Donna Diana Ouverture

    total time: 69:54
    released: 2000
    review date: January 2001

    label: Jollyday A/S
    Flidsagervej 16
    2500 Valby, Denmark
    Phone: 0045 45 82 07 05

    Review by Henry Doktorski:

    Jeanette Dyremose is a talented and dedicated woman. The accordion was always her chosen instrument; the academies of music in Europe, however, did not offer -- during her student years -- educational opportunities for the instrument. As the organ was the closest instrument to her beloved accordion, she studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music as an organist. Following her graduation, she studied accordion performance, pedagogics and ensemble instruction in Germany, Poland and the USA.

    For a number of years she was employed as an accordionist at the Royal Theatre of Denmark. In 1977, she founded The Danish Accordion Ensemble; in 1978 she founded The Danish Accordion Association, as well as The Accordion Center in Copenhagen, the largest music school in Denmark specializing in the accordion.

    I have known Jeanette's husband, Lars, for perhaps ten years. He published an article I wrote, Monastic Accordionists, in Harmonikacentret Magazine: No. 3/1992. I am also familiar with her work from having listened to two excellent recordings by her students: Works by Sven Werner and Morten Rossen: Cassa Fisarmonica.

    Sparkling Moments is aptly titled; it is an aural retrospective of her ensemble, consisting of mostly live performances in various concert halls from 1977 until 1999. With the exception of the final track, Donna Diana Ouverture by Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek (1860-1945) and the traditional Russian folk song, Äpfelchen, the music on this CD consists of original works for accordion ensemble written by an international cast of stellar European composers: Per Nørgård and Lars Graugaard from Denmark, Jonas Tamulionis from Lithuania, Bronislaw Kazimierz Przybylski from Poland and Hans Boll from Germany, as well as a light-hearted piece with polka-like rhythms by Jeanette and Lars Dyremose.

    The music is for the most part serious and not for the faint-hearted, although I found it always enjoyable. Quite artistic. The performances on this CD are exciting and diverse. Most of the works are written in the advanced style of contemporary new music and often include other instruments. Per Nørgård's Winds I-III includes a small choir and Abendlied und Märchenfarben features the operatic baritone voice of Ulrik Cold and the saxophone of Christian Hougaard. My favorite piece is the Fantasia, Toccata & Fuga über DDHE und BACH by Hans Boll. Although little is explained in the program notes about the music, I guess that the initials DDHE stand for the original name for Ms. Dyremose's ensemble: Det Danske Harmonika Ensemble. I assume the piece was commissioned by Ms. Dyremose. The fugue on DDHE (the notes D, D, B and E) are introduced in a rhythmically rapid fashion, while the fugue on Bach's name (the notes Bb, A, C and B) is introduced in notes of longer duration.

    The award-winning ensemble is truly a musical triumph and is proof of the superior teaching methods of Ms. Dyremose. (She has also written a book on playing the accordion, The Life-Giving Bellows Play.) The CD booklet notes are written in English and German. Sparkling Moments will be a welcome addition to the audio collections of classical accordion connoisseurs.

    Oh, yes, the cover is an interesting and unique design; actually a 27 x 20 cm. (11 x 8 inches) booklet cut and shaped to resemble a stylized accordion. Don't expect this to fit on your CD rack; a bookshelf is more appropriate.

    Did I mention the new instrument Ms. Dyremose helped design? Listen to this:

    A special chapter of the activities of Jeanette Dyremose is the development and improvement of instruments functioning via bellows. In addition to the exceptional rhythmic and dynamic qualities of the accordion, Jeanette Dyremose for years strived for an improved sound quality. To this end, she therefore last year, in cooperation with the Italian Borsini family of instrument builders, designed a new classical instrument to be produced especially for the members of her present ensemble. The sonorousness, great volume and dynamic span of the new completely black instruments is primarily due to the built-in Super Star reed set, produced by the most outstanding Italian reed maker of today. Furthermore, all metal parts of the instruments are made of gold, not only for visual reasons, but also to obtain supreme quality of sound.
    Hmmmn. Must be an expensive instrument. I'd like to hear it someday.

    The Dyremose website, currently under construction, can be accessed at

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