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

CD Review: Guy Klucevsek
Transylvanian Softwear
Guy Klucevsek, accordion & voice


Guy Klucevsek: Transylvanian Softwear
Guy Klucevsek: "Viavy Rose" Variations
John Zorn: Road Runner
Guy Klucevsek: Perusal
Guy Klucevsek: Bandoneons, Basil and Bay Leaves
Guy Klucevsek: Three "Microids" (after Bela Bartok)

William Duckworth: Slow Dancing in Yugoslavia
Fred Frith: The Disinformation Polka

total time: 53:14
released: 1994

label: John Marks Records
Order from: The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.
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Review by Henry Doktorski:

Transylvanian Softwear is a good introduction to the world of the contemporary accordion; the compositions are, for the most part, tonal, rhythmic and easy to listen to -- not much dissonant, atonal or a-rhythmic cacophony.

Indeed, some of the music seems downright traditional, as the title cut -- Transylvanian Softwear -- is based on Hassidic wedding music. This is not unexpected, as Klucevsek wrote in the CD booklet notes: "To the extent that the compositions on this album have a unifying theme, it is that they are based on, or influenced by, popular and folk music from around the world."

One selection which I found especially memorable was the three-movement fun-filled tribute (Klucevsek is, for the most part, a pretty happy guy) to Bela Bartok (one of my favorite composers) titled Three "Microids" which contains the 58 second-long accordion percussion piece (no reed sounds were used) Eleven Large Lobsters Loose in the Lobby. The final movement of the suite, Bustin' Broncos in the Balkans, reminded me of an Eastern European cowboy song.

Another wonderful piece, in my mind, was the deliciously romantic tribute to the late Astor Piazzolla, Bandoneons, Basil and Bay Leaves. Two more of my personal favorites were John Zorn's Road Runner (an earlier version was previously recorded on the CRI label titled Manhattan Cascade) which is a quotation piece, ie. it contains excerpts from such diverse sources as the Looney Tune cartoons and Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. Another favorite was Perusal, which begins with a beautiful, albeit simple, monophonic melody in which interest is created by alternating the pitches of the tune between both hands of Klucevsek's free-bass accordion.

All in all, an attractive and diverse CD worth adding to the collection of the discriminating classical free-reed lover.

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