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CD Review: Jörgen Sundeqvist
Vid Dragspelsälven

Jörgen Sundeqvist, accordion


Naas: Dragspelforlaget
Naas: Vid dragspelsälven, vals
Kehving: Andrews return, marsch
Johnson: Mazurka Concertino
Johnson: Rytmiskt intermezzo
Gronstedt: Adalsschottis
Westin: Liabacken, polka
Gronstedt: Mansken over Angermanalven, vals
Naas: Franohambo
Gylling: Concert Ouvertyr
Walter: Valse Caprice No. 3
Walter: Rullbandet
Wallin: Snurran, polka
Broberg-Jokern-Paddock: Harnovalsen
Wallin: Brannaborg-schottis
Walter: Norrlandshambo
Henriksson: Norrskensnatt
Johnson: Suzette, vals
Kejving: Aftonskyar
Gronstedt: Tre sma stycken
Nessen: Lungominnen, vals
Walter-Eriksson: Midsommartango
Naas: Kramforsschottis
Johnson: Svensk valsfantasi
Walter: Para mis Amigo, pasodoble

total time: 71'35"
released: 1999
review date: May 1999

label: Koster Musikproduktion AB - KOSTER CD 6044
Order from: Petosa Accordions
313 N.E. 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105
phone:(206) 632-2700
fax: (206) 632-2733

Review by Thomas Fabinski:

To Hasselblad cameras and Volvo automobiles, add another high quality Swedish export: Jörgen Sundeqvist.

Sundeqvist gives us a loving tribute to his native Sweden in this unpretentious recording. One senses that Sundeqvist had fun recording this CD. The playing is relaxed and confident. Even the technically demanding phrases are effortlessly produced. The performances throughout are clean and accurate. As would seem appropriate for this light serenade of the Swedish countryside, Sundeqvist's articulation is just slightly on the easy-going side of mechanically precise.

My sense is that Sundeqvist's objective was to share with us some melodies which are close to his heart. Most of the tunes are about 3 minutes long and all are easily listenable. The tunes are simple but not simplistic. There is sufficient melodic and chordal variation to hold one's attention. Obviously 3 minutes can limit thematic development potential. But each piece has sufficient internal contrast either through tempo changes, major/minor key changes or register changes. Sundeqvist overcomes the technical limitations of the piano accordion's stradella bass system by limiting the easy temptation of bass-chord patterns. Many of the first two selections have a very pleasant guitar and string bass accompaniment.

Make no mistake, Sundeqvist can do the long-hair stuff. He has collaborated with the maestro, Anthony Galla-Rini in recordings and concert tours in the past. That the liner notes are in Swedish only confirms to me that Sundeqvist was not looking to make world-wide musical history. This is an easily accessible recording of light classical folk tunes. Its aim is to provide the listener with a pleasant sound sensation of the Swedish countryside. I recommend this recording for someone looking to be transported to Sweden for a sail down the Gota canal for an hour while perhaps enjoying the sunlight off the snow covered mountaintops and sipping hot chocolate or maybe schnapps!

Jörgen reports from Bjästa, Sweden: "I will try to explain a few things because this CD has a special background. This CD is a commission of the Swedish state. The area where we live is very famous because of all the accordion music and all the accordionists and composers (born around 1910.) The title of the CD "Vid Dragspelsälven" means "The Accordion River." The river "Angermanalven" is always (all over Sweden) called the "Accordion River" because of all these famous accordionists who came from this area and became very famous all over the country. Many of the titles (most of them) have to do with the area, like for example "Kromforsschottis." Kramfors is a well-known city and Schottis is a famous dance. Same thing with Franohambo, Harnovalsen, Brannaborgs-schottis, etc. Most of these selections are of course light music as it was in those days, but I think the CD turned out quite good when it comes to this type and style of music. It has received very good reviews in the Scandinavian countries where this music is very popular. Lots of love to all of you, signed Jörgen."

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