A fascinating amalgam of personalities and styles, this 1996 release from Franco-Italian accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano achieves a wholly original musical synthesis. Bracketed by an opening track from tango ace Astor Piazzolla and a concluding piece from Jaco Pastorius, the session finds the common ground in such seemingly disparate choices. With nine Galliano originals in between, the result is a cohesive, uncompromising set of performances and an essential work in the leader's discography.
“[These suites] have rarely been recorded or promoted by harpsichordists during the most recent revival of interest in ‘early music.’” I realize that Richard Egarr is entitled to his own opinions—his liner notes on an earlier release, for example, likened the humor in Purcell’s harpsichord music to that of the wonderful old 1950s BBC comedy The Goon Show —but he’s not entitled to his own facts. Christopher Brodersen pointed out in a 2011 review of these works featuring Laurence Cummings ( Fanfare 34:5) that ArkivMusic listed nine complete sets played on the harpsichord, with several others on the piano. I find some of the suites have considerably more recordings than that, in 2014: 26 for the Suite in A Major, 28 for the Suite in D Minor, 25 for the Suite in E Minor, 47 for the Suite in E Major. If such numbers reflect rare recordings, I have to wonder what Egarr would consider a moderate number, let alone a frequent one.