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CD Review: Gallipoli
New Zealand Orchestral Music by Gary Daverne
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra of the Czech Republic
Conductor Petr Polonanik
Accordionist Kevin Friedrich

Total Time: 69:29
Label: EMI Classics (of New Zealand)
Released: November 2004
Review Date: January 2005

Order from:
Merbecks Co. New Zealand

  1. Fanfare and Procession
  2. Portrait of Ponsonby
  3. Concert Overture 'For the Academy'
  4. 'Gallipoli' - Rhapsody for Trumpet and Orchestra (Solo trumpet: Marek Bubenicek)
  5. Tribal Ritual
  6. Ghosts of Alberton
  7. A Pocket Overture
  8. Gem of the Kaipara (Solo accordion: Kevin Friedrich)
  9. A Jazz Burlesque
Compositions by Gary Daverne

Review by: Henry Doktorski

Gary Daverne, born in 1939 and since 1975 the Musical Director of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, is a composer, arranger and musical director for television, radio and the recording industry, and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (O.N.Z.M.). He is no stranger to accordionists, as he has composed many compositions for that instrument and also has conducted many accordion orchestras during accordion festivals, such as the AAA and ATG. One album, "Accordion Concert Music by Gary Daverne," recorded by the New Zealand Accordion Orchestra, features his music entirely.

This most recent CD, "Gallipoli," recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic of the Czech Republic and conducted by Petr Pololanik, features nine of Gary's orchestral works, including "Gem of the Kaipara" which features accordionist Kevin Friedrich.

I first heard this composition in a live performance at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Annual Festival in June 2003 in Chicago, Illinois with the Concord Symphony Orchestra from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Friedrich has had a long association with Maestro Daverne, and has performed many of his accordion works, including works commissioned by him, such as "Concert Waltz for Accordion & String Quartet" and " A Jazz Burlesque for Accordion Trio" (which interestingly enough, appears on this CD in a version for orchestra). (Another track, "A Pocket Overture," was originally written for the New Zealand Accordion Orchestra.)

"Gem of the Kaipara" was written in honor of long time accordion and arts supporter and lifetime member of the New Zealand Accordion Association, the late Mrs. Jenny Maioha Cocurullo. A respected and loved citizen of Dargaville, she always promoted the Kaipara region of New Zealand as the "Gem of the North." However, she in turn was considered "The Gem of the Kaipara"; thus the title of this new work.

Kevin asked Gary to write this work for solo accordion with string orchestra and percussion to serve as a musical tribute to his long time friend and mentor Jenny Cocurullo with the title of "Gem of the Kaipara." This piece was premiered by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and accordion soloist Kevin Friedrich, conducted by the composer Gary Daverne, on May 11, 2002.

The CD liner notes explain:

Written in simple sonata form, the introduction of the piece is quite mysterious in nature, with the lower strings providing a subtle bagpipe like drone and the airy melody and soft percussive effects reminiscent of the awakening of the lush Kauri forests and countryside of the Kaipara from its thick blanketing of dawn fog.

The main themes are written around Jenny's name and the name of the region the 'Kaipara'. The lyrical re-occurring melody is first heard by the accordion, with string accompaniment and then switches to the strings accompanied by the accordion.

After working through an animated and rhythmical jig like section depicting Jenny's boundless energy, many interests and Scottish heritage, the strings restate the soaring melody expressing the vast expansiveness and sweeping landscapes of the Kaipara region.

I heartily recommend this CD for all lovers of the classical accordion. My kudos to Kevin Friedrich for a beautiful and moving performance. His accordion, a Titano, has a pure and sophisticated tone, which blends perfectly with the strings.

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