Richard Galliano Brings Bach’s Music to the Accordion for His Debut Deutsche Grammophon Recording, Available June 29, 2010
Richard Galliano, surely one of the most recognizable names associated with the accordion, has crossed musical boundaries collaborating with top jazz musicians, giving solo recitals and performing as soloist with orchestras. His wide-ranging interests and career have finally led him to record Bach, though he has practiced and performed the music for many years. Deutsche Grammophon is proud to release this all-new recording of Bach as performed on the accordion, available June 29, 2010.
Richard Galliano feels no need to change Bach’s music to suit the accordion: he plays everything as written. “Bach’s music is universal,” says Galliano. “When I play it, I don’t change a note, not a breath, not a rest . . . I play the text complete, without any adaptation . . . In the prelude from the Cello Suite, I use only the left hand’s keyboard to play the cello part. At first I tried to harmonize it, to play it as on an organ, with the right hand at the octave . . . Ultimately, each time I tried to touch anything in Bach’s music, I realized that what he had written was perfect.”
For this recording he is joined by a quintet of strings which acts as the orchestra on a number of tracks. The balance and acoustic of this newly formed sextet proves to be the ideal setting to allow the accordion to speak and at times soar over the orchestra.
Richard Galliano has collaborated with many musicians from all backgrounds including Chet Baker, Ron Carter, Enrico Rava, Charlie Haden, Michel Portal, Jan Garbarek, Martial Solal and others. With his exceptional versatility he appears in solo shows, big bands, small jazz ensembles and even classical orchestral concerts. Galliano’s complete immersion in music as an idiom has led him to present the Bach without alteration or fuss. Many transcriptions can lose sight of the original source, but Galliano maintains an unwavering focus on Bach and a celebration of his works. Though the sound is new to many, the music is timeless and has received a refreshing new interpreter with Richard Galliano.