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Upclose – From Tango to Gaga

Manchester Camerata & Martynas Levickis

Gorilla Bar, 25 November 2014

A hugely enjoyable concert that was also a crash course in the accordion, its range and (largely unexplored, you tended to feel afterwards) potential.

Playing alongside a quartet of Manchester Camerata’s finest musicians, Martynas Levickis showed, in a quite brilliant fashion, the versatility of his instrument.  The accordion stood in for piano, harpsichord, bandoneon, violin… he memorably took the lead in Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ violin concerto.  As well he performed a couple of virtuoso works by Arne Nordheim and Daniel Nelson, specifically written for accordion.  His arrangement of Lady Gaga’s Telephone was jaunty and entertaining enough, but is basically an attention-grabber- See, this can be done too. Whereas Astor Piazzola’s Five Tango Sensations was magnificent; intensely pleasurable.

At the close you were left with great admiration (of course) but also astonishment at what the accordion could do.  Also, anticipation of what the accordion might do in In Levickis’s hands in the future.  For he will innovate, that’s a certainty.  He will take the instrument to places we cannot yet imagine or predict.  Not since I saw Marius Neset play the saxophione, some two years ago now, have I been so blown away by a young musician.

As an aside: according to an acquaintance, Club Lash used to hold their get-togethers in this same space in the Gorilla Bar (formerly The Green Room, of course).  If true, it’s the first time I’ve attended a classical music concert in what was once a S & M club.

Anyway, pretty much the same programme of music will be performed tomorrow evening in Ulverston.  Do not miss.  Details here.