Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Toshio HOSHIKAWA: Melodia II (1977/79/2000); Melodia (1979).
Hikaru HAYASHI: A Bee Crosses Over the Strait (1988).
Maki ISHII: Lost Sounds II, Op.33b (1978/84) for accordion and tape.
Yuji TAKAHASHI: Like a Water-Buffalo (1985) (poem & music).
Meiro SUGAWARA: Capriccio Pastorale (1983); Ruscello (1980).
AYUO: Three pieces from 'Eurasian Tango' (1998).
 Mie Miki (accordion)
rec May 2000 Lanna Church, Sweden
BIS-CD-1144 [60.00]
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Toshio Hoshikawa (b 1955) wrote Melodia II as a student piece in the '70s, and it has been transcribed for accordion by Mie Miki. The much later Melodia (1979), inspired by the Chinese sheng, avoids 'normal' accordion sound and contrasts pure higher notes with the 'sinister' low register of the instrument. Hikaru Hayashi's buzzing A Bee Crosses Over the Strait (1988) was suggested by a surrealist poem. Maki Ishii's Lost Sounds II, Op.33b (1978/84) for accordion and tape has an 'endless melody' repeated and extended by tape. His Tango Prism Op 73 distorts a familiar tango, La Cumparsita. Yuji Takahashi, an assistant of Takemitsu who worked with Xenakis, composed Like a Water-Buffalo (1985) as 'heartfelt music' for Mie Miki. Meiro Sugawara:is an eminent Scarlatti specialist. His Capriccio Pastorale is based on a piece of the same name by Frescobaldi, and the swift little Ruscello was conceived as an encore for his accordion concerto. Ayuo's Eurasian Tango pieces (1998), which aim to bring together Eastern music and tango, are transcriptions from piano pieces (a great deal of piano music can be played on the accordion with little or no adjustment needed) commissioned by Aki Takahashi - the tango has proved a fruitful rhythmic resource, and new music based on tango was being collected by Takahashi at the time, as well as by Yvar Mikhashoff and Alicia Terzian.

This is a recommendable CD for an instrument which in recent years has joined the mainstream of contemporary music, is popular in Japan as well as especially in the Baltic countries, and is attracting an increasing following elsewhere, as was demonstrated in the recent Interpreters Competition in Rotterdam. An enjoyable programme in a variety of contemporary idioms, expertly played and vividly recorded by BIS.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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