The Free-Reed Review
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CD Review: Repertoire for Free-Reed Instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries
Alessandro Mugnoz, Accordion; and Claudia Menghi, piano

tracks: 12
total time: 59:49
released: 2006
Includes 24-page booklet with scholarly notes
  in Italian and English.

Imported from Italy.
review date: October 2006

Order from: The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. eBay Store.

Repertoire for Free-Reed Instruments
from the 19th and 20th centuries


  1. Bernhard Molique: Flying Leaves
  2. Angelo Panzini: Ballata
  3. Cesar Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation, op. 18
  4. Adamo Volpi: Two Divertimenti
  5. GianFelice Fugazza: Dialoghi senza tempo
  6. Astor Piazzolla: L'evasion
  7. Richard Galliano: Tango pour Claude
  8. Italo Salizzato: Danza erotica
  9. Peppino Principe: Cecilia

Review by: Henry Doktorski

This is an album guaranteed to please the discriminating classical music connoisseur, especially those who enjoy listening to rare delights. Alessandro Mugnoz is a classical accordionist extraordinaire: he earned diplomas at the "Martini" and "Rossini" Conservatories in Bologna and Pesaro, Italy, and currently teaches accordion, theory and solfeggio at the "G.B. Pergolesi" Music Institute in Ancona.

Claudia Menghi studied piano at the "G.B. Pergolesi" Music Institute, where she won the "Giovanni Rossi" Student Grant as the best student at the institute. She presently tours, giving concerts in Germany, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Italy, and she also teaches piano at the "G.B. Pergolesi" Music Institute in Ancona.

The repertoire on this CD is exceptional: all ORIGINAL works written for the free-reed instruments.

Bernhard Molique composed Flying Leaves for concertino and piano in 1856. Angelo Panzini wrote Ballata for physharmonika and piano in 1860 (the physharmonika is a type of harmonium). Cesar Franck, the great French organist, pianist, conductor and composer, wrote his Prelude, Fugue and Variation, op. 18 for harmonium and piano. Franck's op. 18 is a MASTERPIECE: a nine-minute Romantic poetic work which captures a delicate balance between classical formal sensibility and romantic instinctive abandonment. This piece was first performed in 1874 with pianist Vincent D'Indy and harmonist Cesar Franck himself.

The rest of the composers wrote their works in the 20th century, but their writing is not atonal or strident as a whole; they write in a style which does not negate the past. Therefore these pieces are enjoyable to listen to.

Adamo Volpi wrote his Divertimenti for accordion and piano. FianFelice Fugazza wrote his Dialoghi for accordion and piano. Astor Piazzolla wrote his L'evasion for bandoneon and piano. Richard Galliano, a famous accordionist and bandoneonist himself, wrote his Tango pour Claude for accordion or bandoneon, and the other two composers: Salizzato and Principe wrote their works for piano and accordion.

The works are tonal and pleasing and accessible for most listeners, and the music is beautifully performed with great musicianship. I HIGHLY recommend this album. If, like me, you love the accordion and love classical music, you will love this CD.

Collector's item. Truly a welcome addition to any classical music lover's CD library.

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