Until quite recently, a recording of the ‘complete works for accordion’ of Magnus Lindberg would have contained just two pieces: Metal Work (1984) and Jeux d’Anches (1990). For all that they are ambitious works that make brilliant use of the characteristics of the instrument, Finland’s foremost young accordionist Janne Valkeajoki wanted more: he devised accordion adaptations of Lindberg’s piano suite Jubilees (2000) and Dos Coyotes for cello and piano (2002).
Lindberg is pleased with Valkeajoki’s versions of the pieces, and no wonder: many of the essential features of his music work better on the accordion than on the piano. Valkeajoki is so adept at arranging and performing this material that it seems like these nimble arabesques, continuous and expansive pillars of sound and incisive yet organic accents were always intended for keyboard and bellows. In Dos Coyotes, for example, the melismatic melody entwines with the cello much better on the accordion than on the piano. Metal Work and Jeux d’Anches have been recorded multiple times, but Valkeajoki brings added value to them too, with a carefully considered and sonority-sensitive reading.
Lindberg writes in the foreword to the disc: “Because [Valkeajoki] understands that the music must be boldly engaged with, the work comes to life, is sustained and is sometimes even improved upon.” As listeners, we can only be grateful.
Magnus Lindberg: Complete Works for Accordion
Janne Valkeajoki, accordion; Tomas Nuñez, cello; Jerry Piipponen, percussion
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi