|Finland Recording Index
Accordion Recordings 2 is the second in a series on Finnish
accordion releases from the 1910s onwards issued by the Finnish
Until 1938 Finland did not have a recording industry of its
own: recordings either had to be made abroad, or European
companies had to bring their recording equipment to Finland.
The very first Finnish accordion recordings were, however,
made in the United States, for among the large band of Finnish
emigrants were many good accordion players. One of them was
Willy Larsen, later himself a celebrated teacher in New York,
and Viola Turpeinen, a pupil of Pietro Diero. Turpeinen was,
so far as is known, the first woman in the world to immortalise
her accordion solos on record. The recordings made by these
American Finns date from the period 1916-1931.
Not until 1928 did accordion recordings begin to be made in
Finland. The first example on this disc is the Homanin Marssi
The golden age of accordion recordings by Finnish and American-Finnish
performers spanned the years 1928-1934, when the recording
companies became interested in the Finnish market and began
to look around for music other than opera and ditties.
The new Finnish dance music first recorded by the Suomi Jazz
Orchestra, the Dallpe Orchestra and the Nils Ekman Accordion
Band became particularly popular. Amid the ranks of these
orchestras were some excellent accordion players who also
recorded solos and duets. But because Finland had no studios
of its own, these and other accordionists frequently had to
travel abroad, usually to Germany or England.
Little is known outside Finland, Sweden, and possibly Germany
of the many fine accordionists entertaining audiences in the
late 1920s and early 1930s, such as the Italian-born Angelo
Busi, Leander Norrback, Nils Ekman, plus Paavo Raivonen, who
recorded in Germany and even travelled to London for concerts
and recording sessions. In 1933 he took a programme of Finnish
tangos to England, recording them with a studio orchestra.
These recordings were later released mostly under the name
of the Don Guera Tango Band.
The best-known Finnish accordionist, Viljo Vesterinen, fout
times Nordic Champion, likewise made frequent visits to hte
recording studios. Most of his discs date from the late1930s,
by which time he had been with the Dallape for a number of
The Dallape also made a name for itself outside Finland through
its tours to Germany and Sweden. In 1995 the Orchestra celebrated
its 70th anniversary, making it the oldest band of its kind
in Finland still performing.