With accordion into the world of artistic music
AccoDuo, Galženica Hall, POU Velika Gorica, 26 March 2013
Review by Irena Paulus
Sometimes smaller communities, with cultural life that is not functioning the same was as the one in Zagreb, need someone to incite it. The People’s Open University in Velika Gorica is the main spiritus movens in the area with its cycles of concert taking place in the Galženica hall without which the offer would be brought down to a minimum. Apart from the organizers, these types of events have to feature quality performers, as well as curious audience that have to get used to the fact that something is taking place in their town and that they do not have to travel to Zagreb in order to enjoy in art and culture. Velika Gorica possesses such an audience and performers who are either its residents or arrive there from Zagreb in order to offer this little town on the outskirts of Zagreb all their skills and passion.
Accordion duo entitled AccoDuo consisting of Ivana Levak Vaupotić and her husband Miran Vaupotić are two such people. These two excellent musicians have found a joint artistic link in their instrument, and after numerous concerts in Croatia and abroad they decided to perform in a community with a more modest audience. Their concert, organized by the People’s Open University, took place in Galženica hall on March 26, 2013. It was opened by the Croatian suit by the Russian composer Jevgenij Derbenko, partly dedicated to AccoDuo and first performed by the Vaupotić themselves. This particular piece proved to be an excellent choice for the opening of the concert since its first movement (Con moto) acts like an overture slowly and clearly opening a door to a world that is not always familiar to the audience. It is a world of classical music composed for accordion, an instrument firstly and fore mostly linked to folk and pop, and not automatically artistic music. Jevgenij Derbenko played a game with traditional Croatian folk tunes in his suite which prepared the audience and lifted their spirits for what was to follow.
And the first to follow as the famous Air from the Third orchestral suite in D major by Johann Sebastian which led the audience into the realm of artistic music. After that the accordion duo literally took their audience and rushed them, quite surprisingly, into Alfred Schnittke’s Auditor’s Fable. This piece starts as quite modern and leaves this air unexpectedly: with a short quotation from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, followed by movements in which literal play becomes waltz with children’s songs, turning into playfulness and humorous tickling of the audience who are, perhaps, unaware of what is taking place. Although trying to hide their smiles, Ivana and Miran Vaupotić had great fun playing the piece. This particular piece actually shook everyone who came to Galženica to listen to their concert.
When one follows this sequence, it becomes clear that the program of the concert was designed in such a way to be adjusted to the audience and show all the artistic talent of AccoDuo. After the comprehensive work by Debrenko and Schnittke, a couple of shorter pieces followed, arranged by inner logic, in most cases logic of contrast: an interesting and deeply humorous performance of Schnittke’s Auditor’s Fable was followed by a wide and rhapsodic Romance by Franck Angelis which soothed the spirits. In a nature similar to the Romance, and even wider and more romantic, but perhaps closer to the musicians, was the Ukraine folk song Črnobrivci (V. Virmenič). The space between the Romance and Črnobrivci was filled by Violentango by Ástor Piazzolla, which lightly re-kindled the atmosphere in a way similar to the Two dances from Istria by Ivo Lhotka-Kalinski that was performed next. Fantasies to the theme ‘Torna a Surriento’ by Viktor Podgorni and always beautifully accepted Adios Nonino by Ástor Piazzolla followed, to be round up with a successful Samba-Carneval by Viktor Novikov. Playful musicians awarded the merry audience with one of the versions of the popular song Bésame mucho which completely enchanted the listeners: quiet murmur of the melody was carried onto the whole hall, turning this concert into a pleasant experience for an original spring evening filled with snowflakes, positive energy and excellent music.
© Irena Paulus, KLASIKA.hr, 30 March 2013