At first blush, Guy Klucevsek's 2004 release on Edel might seem like a gag recording, but The Well-Tampered Accordion is more serious in purpose and lyrical in expression than its title might suggest. For example, the opening pieces of Four Portraits are poignant impressions of the central characters in Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours and the 13 vignettes of Accordion Misdemeanors -- composed for the audio version of Accordion Crimes by E. Annie Proulx -- correspond to the ethnic and regional themes of that book. Of course, Klucevsek's music might be considered mildly comical in the lighter miniatures of Misdemeanors, and even a bit eccentric in the fairly minimalist versions of Burt Bacharach's songs, "One Less Bell to Answer" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My (Wives and Lovers) Head." But at no point does Klucevsek alter the accordion's familiar timbres or modify its sound production. To the contrary, the tones and expressions of his music are quite conventional, and his original works and arrangements go by easily, without so much as an avant-garde squawk or experimental wheeze. Of course, a full CD of solo accordion music is perhaps more than most listeners can tolerate in one sitting, and Klucevsek's gentle manners and sentimental moods are a bit much for this album's hour-long running time. Even so, this is a sweet and charming disc, and fans of the classical accordion may find it diverting. Edel's reproduction is exceptional in clarity, depth, and resonance.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Four Portraits, for accordion|
|Accordion Misdemeanors, for accordion|
|The Well-Tampered Accordion, for accordion|