Ksenija Sidorova - Piazzolla Reflections - The Classic Review
Ksenija Sidorova is, according to her website, “the leading ambassador for the classical accordion.” She began lessons at the age of six, encouraged by a grandmother steeped in the Latvian folk music tradition. After several years of lessons in Riga, Ksenija moved to London, continuing her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her discography includes two recordings on the Champs Hill label of solo and concerto repertoire, as well as “Carmen,” released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2016. Each of these recordings showcases Sidorova’s wide-ranging repertoire, as does this new album on the Alpha label.
Sidorova opens with Piazzolla – “Chau Paris,” followed by Voïtenko’s “Revelation.” These contrasting pieces set the tone for the entire recording. Clearly a master of the instrument, Sidorova draws out an amazing variety of colors and textures from these pieces. She captures every subtle change in inflection, articulation, and mood: wistful and fragile one moment, sultry and lavish the next. “Revelation” (track 2), is some of the best playing on the album, Sidorova phrasing with captivating rhapsodic freedom, impressive dynamic control, and subtle shifts of color and weight to fully portray the forlorn, delicate ache of Voïtenko’s music.
Moreover, the joyful and sensitive interaction between Sidorova and the various musical partners is a tangible part of each performance. In “Histoire du Tango: Café 1930” (track 3) she becomes a perfect chamber partner, sharing the spotlight with the violin, here played with sensuous abandon by Alexander Sitkovetsky. Or in “Soledad” (track 8), listen to how these musicians work together to carefully build the music (6’00”) to it effusive climax. That same sense of chamber music connection is heard in Piazzolla’s “Concerto for Bandoneon & Orchestra.”