| Of all the figures
that feature in the history of the accordion, there is one figure
that I feel deserves special mention.
In Australia, as an aspiring artist, the ultimate aim was to play
one of Pietro Frosini's arrangements or compositions. They hold
a timeless elegance and charm, which transcend time and musical
I remember hearing the opening bars of Carnival of Venice for the
first time and being absolutely positive that i had heard it somewhere
before. For aspiring students, epochs of musical achievement seemed
to be marked by Frosini's music.
Pietro Frosini was born in Catania, Sicily in 1885. From his native
homeland, he migrated, with his family, to America, where he began
to make a name for himself on the diatonic button accordion, with
four bass buttons on teh left-hand side . He was introduced to the
three-row chromatic button accordion, on which he made his name
and for which he wrote his compositions.
As well as having a vaudeville act with his accordion, he also became
an active promother of the instrument, and he was one of the founding
members of the American Accordino Association, which is still a
very strong and vibrant organisation today.
Frossini worked on teh promotion, along with the Deiro brothers
and especially and especially, with Guido Deiro, who is attributed
to be the first person to play the piano accordion in America. Frosini
still stuck to his buitton accordion, but had a dummy piano keyboard
attached, with the three rows of buttons on the outer edge of the
As a pioneer in his field, Frosini was renowned for his dazzling
dexterity and he perfected the art of bellow shake on the accordion.
His recordings, with bass, percussion and sometimes, guitar, attest
to his brilliant technique which, for its time, is remarkable.
As an accordionist of the 21st century, I aim to bring the music
of this great master to life in new way, by playing the electronic
MIDI accordion. I hope to bring another dimension to the music,
not to make it ourlandish or tracky, by unduly adding new sounds,
but to enhance it and make it more accessible to today's audience.
For those who prefer a more traditional sound, I have added some
tracks on acoustic accordion.
I have listened to the playing of Pietro Frossini and believe that
these interpretations are as near as possible to what Maestro Frosini
would have wanted to hear.
I should not venture to say, but I believe that, If Maestro Frosini
were around today, he would approve of the use of electronic accordion
to add extra colour to his music. He seems to be of that progressive
frame of mind. His one wish was to promote the accordion - and he
has provided a wonderful vehicle through which to do so.
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