Monday 25 January 2021

The definition of virtuosic - Cillian King doing something that ought to be impossible on an Anglo-Concertina

As a sometime squeezebox man (piano accordion and melodeon) - I have been on the lookout for good players over a span of several decades. 

I've seem plenty of remarkable playing, but nothing as remarkable as these two pieces performed by a young Irish folk musician called Cillian King. 

The thing is; his instrument is an Anglo-Concertina, which gives a different note on the push and the pull. This makes it great for some kinds of folk music (since it has a built-in bounce, due to the need to change direction of the bellows so often) - but not for for classical music. 

Furthermore, it is essentially a diatonic instrument designed to play in two major keys (a fifth apart) on two rows of buttons; and various missing 'accidental' notes (needed to play chromatically and in other keys) are distributed in a third row. 

All of which would, I would have thought, made it impossible to pay what this young chap plays below. The fact that he does so with great verve and musical phrasing is a terrific bonus. He actually gets better the long the pieces go on!

First: Moto Perpetuo Opus 11 by Paganini

Second: Prelude from Violin Partita No. 3 BWV 1006 by Bach.  


R.J.Cavazos said...

Accordion you say.. A bit less formal but certainly incredible talent-- Flaco Jimenez and Mingo Saldivar. Certainly the best players in the USA in the last 50 years. Check em out--Mingo's version of Johnny Cash's Ring of fire is something else. Not posh as you say but pretty darn good.

Bruce Charlton said...

@RJC - Not my kind of music, I'm afraid (British Isles Folk, and Classical for me, mainly) - but I do enjoy the Cajun/ Zydeco melodeon players. Also loved the Bandoneon playing on that South American single the Lambada (the video is pretty grotesque however!) . The Bandoneon is something like a big duet English concertina - which was the original free reed instrument.

R.J.Cavazos said...

Yes, enjoyed Zydeco a great deal in my school days in the 1980's. Remarkable with the melodeon and yes a washboard. Members of the Chenier family were especially talented. The drought of genius certainly applies to music. Roots and folk seem mostly desicated these days. Its interesting how music can spread from s amall area. On thisI would argue that the remarkable number of amazing talent emerging from the environs of Lubbock Texas and Lafayetter Luisianna from say 1930-to 1975 eclipses that of many nations.