Cello and accordion – surprising combination of instruments. Strings and buttons seem to be made for each other, as if each had been yearning for the other. Without changing a single note of the original music scores, Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric bring to life virtuosic and deeply personal visions of known classical and modern pieces.
Their debut CD „Inspired by Songs and Dances“, presented in 2016 in Konzerthaus Vienna, is full of artistic sophistication and playfulness which comes from two instrumentalists keen to experiment. This is an intimate survey of the musical world of both artists. Together, they evoke new sound dimensions.
The young duo’s artistry had a tremendous response from both audience and critics – they performed in Musikverein Vienna, at Salzburger Festspiele, Austrian Broadcasting Company and at diverse national and international Festivals. Their debut CD and their concerts received numerous excellent critics, a. o. by Radio Klassik, Wiener Zeitung, Kurier and Klassik Heute. Additional highlights of the upcoming season include concerts in Musikverein Vienna, Gasteig Munich and at Schlosskonzerte Walpersdorf as well as a tour through Ukraine.
Both artists put specific focus on Contemporary Music. Renowned composers such as Johanna Doderer and Gabriele Proy dedicated their compositions to Duo ARCORD.
The music pieces, ranging from Baroque to New Music are given a sound revival by Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric – refreshing and self-assured.
22. April 2016
“All Tango? A duo consisting of accordion and cello and the sensual image composition on the CD cover may suggest it. But the first impression could be deceptive. Or maybe not?
The cellist Ana Topalovic and accordionist Nikola Djoric bring together in their new CD “ARCORD: Inspired by Songs and Dances” their own transcriptions of arias and dance-related works from Baroque to Contemporary music. A program that could hardly be more adventurous and inspiring, that is characterized with fascinating versatile sound exploration – in short, a program that puts the listener completely under spell because of a truly infatuating interplay of Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric and their respective sonority. Absolutely style-authentic and yet so unforced, the two move through music history. Wether Purcell, Beethoven, Dvorak, Bartok or Piazzolla (whose Grand Tango is also the only pice of its kind in this production) – Topalovic and Djoric seem to eagerly absorb all in order to put it in a new sound and emotional context. Already at the beginning, with Beethoven’s “In men who feel love”, the cellist and her partner on accordion show playfulness and expressiveness of captivating intensity, they savor not only the different moods of the individual variations but also sounds and combination possibilities of their instruments. Then Nikola Djoric performs very poetically the Gavotte from Bach’s Suite no. 5 (BWV 816) as well as Ana Topalovic two movements from Bach’s cello Suite no. 3 (BWV 1009). It is deeply moving how the two sing together from their hearts in the arias from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” and
Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” thus making a dynamic creation of the highest quality. Similarly, in Bartok’s Romanian Dances and Piazzolla’s Grand Tango where the two artists ….. They master perfectly the interplay between sometimes ethereally graceful, sometimes percussively harsh music – one hears once more, how could it be any different, Piazzolla’s Grand Tango. Which brings me to the beginning of my thoughts about this all around convincing publication.
All tango? Behind its many faces lie poetry, power, passion, dedication and control, to name a few. Not to mention the melancholy that hovers over everything, even over the serene parts like in Beethoven’s variations. If one understands tango outside of its purely musical context, as a possibly most sensual form of intimate togetherness, so is the answer to the initial question a clear yes. Ana Topalovic’s and Nikola Djoric’s art unite equally harmony and tension; the both performers, or rather their instruments blend together and complement each other in a most excellent way, they meet in an intimate embrace. Wonderful!”
2. February 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!”
2. March 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. “