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

CD Review:

Teppo Valimaki

Taysin Palkein
The Best of Finnish Folk Accordion


Erasen Ollin Polkka
Jalasjarven Polkka
Satakielen Valssi
Havusen Juokin Valssi
Vaara Vitonen Polkka
Taysin Palkein Sottiisi
Spelimuistoja Jenkka
Taiturin Polkka
Ilmajoen Polkka
Riskun Harmonikkavalssi
Kulkurin Valssi
Haudanmaan Haapolska
Kinokaakari Masurkka
Polska Jalasjarvelta
Alariikin Polkka
Isoisan Aikaan Jenkka
kassun Kenkka
Etelapohjalainen Polkka
Notkian Pojan Polkka
Jalasjarven Polkka

total time: 46:22
Released in 1993
Review number and date: No. 58, August 1997

label: Olarin Musikki Oy (OMCD 45)
Pl 20
02211 Espoo
telephone: 358-0-882334
fax: 358-0-8043469

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Teppo Valimaki is a fun-loving fellow, as one can tell simply by: 1) listening to his music and 2) looking at the album cover, which features three photographs of him in three different poses (one playing the accordion behind his back) with three different one and two-row diatonic accordions. The CD booklet notes by Phillip Page humbly state "Teppo has an innate ability to navigate the most complex of passages while maintaining a sincere crowd pleasing charm."

Teppo Valimaki was born into a family of Southern Ostrobothnian accordionists. Both his father and grandfather were well known -- in 1961 his father won first place in the Finnish National One-Row Accordion Competition; a competition in which young thirteen year-old Teppo placed third. The next year Teppo beat his own father (who came in second place) by winning the first place prize. His awards have not been confined to Finland: Teppo came in fourth place at the 1974 World Championship of the Accordion.

The CD includes twenty-four polkas, waltzes and other dances from the repertoire of Finnish folk music. Valimaki's technique is faultless and his musicality is full of character. The album is a wonderful display of the beauty and joy of the diatonic accordion.

I agree with Page's conclusion from the CD booklet notes: "Taysin Palkein is Teppo's third album, one that was a year in preparation but was recorded in a single day. With it, he hopes to demonstrate the limitless possibilities of the one and two-row accordion. Perhaps it will also give you a better idea why Teppo Valimaki is considered a champion, not only in the judge's eyes, but in the eyes and minds of thousands of music loving Finns."

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