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CD of the Day 28. 1. 2016 on Radio Klassik
Recommended by KlassikHeute

Inspired by songs and dances

This album is the result of this inspired instrumental interaction. ARCORD – Inspired by songs and dances contains a collection of pieces based on arias and dances, ranging from baroque to new music. Works by Beethoven, Tschaikovsky, Bartók, Dvorak, Villa Lobos, Purcell, and Piazolla can be heard on the album, all arranged by Topalovic and Djoric. A composition by Johanna Doderer, an important Austrian composer, arranged for cello and accordion and dedicated to Topalovic and Djoric, is also featured.

Inspired by songs and dances is full of the musical sophistication and playfulness which comes from two instrumentalists keen to experiment. Their opposing instruments lend a new tonal quality and emotional range to well-known pieces. The cello, whose sound most resembles the human voice, brings a new dimension to the interpretation of the arias. While Nikola Djoric brings hefty pieces such as Beethoven’s 7 Variations to life, his concert accordion playing the piano’s role. The dances and songs on the album are not just inspiration for the two artists. Instead they are given a sound revival by Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric – refreshing and self-assured.

It is rare that a musical coming-together begins as promisingly as it did for Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric. The cello and accordion, strings and buttons, seem to be made for each other, as if each had been yearning for the other.

Ana, who had long been nursing the idea of a cello-accordion project, and Nikola, who proved to be the perfect partner for this venture, recognised at once their creative potential as a duo.

They wanted to coax an undiscovered combined sound out of their instruments, and with this in mind they produced new arrangements of well-known pieces, which are of particular importance to both of their musical careers.

Press

  • “Alles Tango? Die aus Akkordeon und Cello bestehende Besetzung und die sinnliche Bildkomposition des CD-Covers könnten darauf hindeuten. Aber der erste Eindruck täuscht. Oder etwa doch nicht?

    Unter dem Titel „ARCORD – inspired by songs and dances“ haben die Cellistin Ana Topalovic und der Akkordeonist Nikola Djoric eigene Bearbeitungen arien- und tanzbezogener Werke zwischen Barock und zeitgenössischer Musik zu einem Programm zusammengestellt, das kaum experimentierfreudiger und inspirierender sein könnte, das von einer faszinierend wandlungsfähigen Gestaltungskunst der Interpreten geprägt ist – kurzum, ein Programm, das aufgrund eines wahrhaft betörenden Zusammenspiels von Ana Topalovic und Nikola Djoric und der daraus erwachsenden Klanglichkeit vollständig in seinen Bann zieht. Absolut stilsicher und dabei doch so ungezwungen bewegen sich die Zwei durch die Musikgeschichte. Ob Purcell, Beethoven, Dvořák, Bartók oder Piazzolla (dessen Grand Tango ist übrigens der einzige Vertreter seiner Art auf dieser Produktion) – Topalovic und Djoric scheinen alles begierig aufzusaugen, um es anschließend in einen neuen klanglichen und emotionalen Kontext zu stellen. Spielfreude und eine Ausdruckskraft von anspringender Intensität beweisen die Cellistin und ihr Partner am Akkordeon gleich zu Beginn in Beethoven Variationen über Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen und kosten dabei nicht nur die Stimmungen der einzelnen Sätze voll aus, sondern auch die Klang- und Kombinationsmöglichkeiten ihrer Instrumente. Voller Poesie dann Nikola Djorics Wiedergabe der Gavotte aus Bachs Französischer Suite Nr. 5 (BWV 816) und Ana Topalovics Interpretation zweier Sätze aus Bachs Cellosuite Nr. 3 (BWV 1009). Geradezu herzergreifend ist es, wie sich die Beiden in den Arien aus Purcells Dido and Aeneas und Tschaikowskys Eugen Onegin gemeinsam die Seele aus dem Leib singen und dabei eine dynamische Gestaltung vom Allerfeinsten an den Tag legen; ebenso in Bartóks Rumänischen Volkstänzen und Piazzollas Grand Tango, in deren Rhythmen die zwei Künstler richtig aufgehen. Perfekt beherrschen Topalovic und Djoric schließlich das Wechselspiel zwischen teils ätherischer Anmut und perkussiv Harschem – man höre nur, wie könnte es anders sein, einmal mehr Piazzollas Grand Tango. Womit ich wieder am Anfang meiner Gedanken zu dieser rundum überzeugenden Veröffentlichung wäre.
    Alles Tango? Dahinter verbergen sich so viele Gesichter: Poesie, Kraft, Leidenschaft, Hingabe und Kontrolle, um nur einige zu nennen. Nicht zu vergessen die Schwermut, die über allem schwebt, selbst über Heiterem, wie es in Beethovens Variationen über Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen hörbar wird. Versteht man unter Tango über das rein Musikalische hinaus noch die vermutlich sinnlichste Form der Zweisamkeit, so muss die anfänglich aufgeworfene Frage mit einem klaren Ja beantwortet werden. Ana Topalovics und Nikola Djorics Kunst vereint zu gleichen Teilen Harmonie und Spannung; die beiden Interpreten, oder besser gesagt ihre Instrumente verschmelzen miteinander und ergänzen sich auf das Vortrefflichste, sie begegnen sich in einer innigen Umarmung. Wunderbar!
     
    -CJ, Klassik Heute, 22. 4. 2016
  • “Cello and accordion – a strange combination at first glance, yet in reality a wonderful pairing. Above all because it is the superb cellist Ana Topalovic and the equally fantastic accordionist Nikola Djoric, two top-artists, who are making this musical journey together. Well worth a listen!”

     
    – PJ, Kurier, 31. 1. 2016
  • “Duos can usually squeeze onto the smallest of stages. But stylistically these two musicians hardly fit within the same framework. The combination is a surprise: its not everyday one sees a cellist and an accordionist working together artistically. In addition, Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric, for lack of fitting repertoire, move freely and easily through centuries of music. Opera even gets a look in: an absolute highlight is the moving and delicate voice of the cello in Purcell’s ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Dido and Aeneas. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Lenski Aria’ from Eugen Onegin, held in a tight chamber music corset, is also a charming interpretation. 

    The two Serbs deliver not only hearty elegance, but also sheer exhilaration: Bartok’s ‘Romanian Folk Dances’, or the ending of a Piazolla Tango – to a certain extent the accordion’s natural habitat. The suppleness of the accordion, which tends to be more penetrative, is astounding. This, in combination with the velvety-smooth cantilenas of the cello, allows for a sound quality that one could name a tender metallic string quartet.”

    -CI, Wiener Zeitung, 2. 3. 2016
  • Both artists enjoy playing boldly. Topalovic handles her cello like an organ and Djoric extends way past existing art forms with his instrument. But they provide charming Beethoven variations, cool Bach solos, move their way masterfully trough the Piazzolla Tango and deliver a hefty rendition of Johanna Doderer’s ‘Wutmarsch’. The CD conveys more than comparable arrangements. And the widely known Dido’s Lament by Purcell or the Romanian Folk Dances by Bartok are freshly coloured with new depths.  It is a joy to descend into the gulfs of such music.

    -OB, Wien Live Stadtmagazin, 4. 5. 2016

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Ana Topalovic

Ana Topalovic is establishing herself as a cellist without frontiers. Her repertory ranges from solo pieces and chamber music to New Music and crossover with electronic sounds. Inspired by the diversity of her instrument she continues to develop as a composer of original works, exploring undiscovered musical interfaces, alternative ways of thinking and new art forms. These new ideas are embodied in her own festival ‘Treff•Kunst bei Ana Topalovic’ in Vienna’s BRICK 5. A New York magazine described her playing as “…exceptional and … beautiful“.

  

Nikola Djoric

is one of most interesting and versatile accordion players of a new generation. Born to a musical family in 1988 in Bor, Serbia, Nikola started playing accordion at the age of three. His professors include Grzegorz Stopa at Vienna Conservatory and Mie Miki at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. During his education, Nikola obtained a total of ten first prizes at national and international competitions and was awarded scholarships by ÖSD, Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, HFP Steuerberater and others. He took master classes and collaborated not only with world’s finest accordion players, but also with many composers and musicians: M. Formenti, T. Bruttger, J. M. Londeix, F. Lips, M. Väyrynen, C. Wolff, D. D’ase, Altenberg Trio, N. Osborne, Y. Shishkin and memebers of Klangforum Wien. He also collaborated with many younger composers in Europe and premiered pieces by R. Tovar, E. Wiedner-Zajac, I. Petkova, A. Artacho, W. Liu, A. Chernyshikov to name just a few.

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Events

  • Mon
    10
    Oct
    2016

    Gala

    7:00 pmAlbertina, Vienna
  • Tue
    11
    Oct
    2016

    Inspired

    Philharmonie Częstochowa
  • Wed
    12
    Oct
    2016

    Inspired

    Österreich-Tage Lodz
  • Thu
    13
    Oct
    2016

    Inspired

    ÖKF Warschau

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Media

ARCORD "Lensky's Aria"

Live at Salzburger Festspiele Video by PRATOON

ARCORD "Wutmarsch" by Johanna Doderer

Video by Camillo Meinhart (Biofaction)

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