What I like about mixing transcriptions with repertoire written specifically for the accordion, is that the audience has a fresh perspective on the so-called "old stuff" after hearing the unexpected and unique sounds of the new. I think it aids an understanding of the contemporary repertoire too. As an accordionist you sort of have to carve your own path, so I consider it my mission in this way to introduce the instrument to a wider audience.
Thus speaks the classical accordion's latest and most passionate knight in shining armour, the rising Latvian star Ksenija Sidorova. And to help her here in her avowed mission of popularization, she has chosen a varied group of pieces to show off the full range and emotional power of her chosen instrument. From the quick- fingered whippy virtuosity of Mendelssohn's familiar Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream, via the pulsing energy of Petr Londonov's Scherzo-Toccata (a popular piece with accordionists, but little-known to wider concert audiences), to the deceptively naive and charming melodies of the Fairy Tales concerto by Vaclav Trojan, Sidorova has devised a programme full of humour and excitement. "I had an enormous amount of fun over the days of recording," says the accordionist.
Her recital includes two nineteenth-century showstoppers. The first of them, Caprice Espagnol, was composed for the piano in 1885 by Moritz Moszkowski (1854 -1925), and arranged for the accordion by the Russian performer and teacher Friedrich Lips (1948- ). Since, like many of the other arrangers on this disc, Lips writes for the bayan, which has rows of buttons on both sides rather than a piano keyboard for the right hand, Sidorova herself has "transcribed the transcription" for her own preferred piano-accordion.