A Squeeze of ClassSaturday, January 13, 2018
|Katheryn Petersen & her 13 accordions, January 2018|
Within the modern symphony orchestra there are a couple of maligned instruments that are the butts of many jokes. One is the viola and the other is the bassoon. Some of these jokes are all about the usefulness of burning violas in order to light bassoons and convert them into ashes.
But the very musicians who might make viola or bassoon jokes are aware that Antonio Vivaldi wrote beautiful stuff for the bassoon and the viola is prominent in his Four Seasons.
The accordion cannot play second fiddle to any instrument in the modern symphony orchestra because, alas! it is not an instrument of the orchestra. Thus the accordion has suffered in the acceptance of its status as a modern instrument of note.
It is only recently that violin virtuoso Marc Destrubé has revealed that he too, enjoyed playing the accordion.
My personal beef about this bellows instrument is that I detest the polka in whatever manifestation it might occur. I hate the Mexican polka of the northern states, too. Perhaps somewhere in my memory is a lingering awareness of the role of the instrument in my youth of having watched (no excuses!) the Lawrence Welk Show.
As an Argentine I paradoxically admire, love and enjoy the music of the bandoneón in tango and especially when it is a composition by Astor Piazzolla who was a master of this instrument which I am told is far more difficult to play that the accordion. And, I despise the chamamé, the folkloric music of the Argentine province of Corrientes because it does feature the accordion. Ugh!
So I am have great difficulty in accepting that one of the most beautiful of women that I have photographed, now for 32 years, Katheryn Petersen happens to be a virtuoso of the accordion. Not only that, she has produced a yearly Vancouver extravaganza called Accordion Noir.
Obviously I am the one with the problem and I will readily accept that I am in a squeeze.