There was a time when accordion virtuoso Joseph Macerollo could play his instrument of choice only in private.  But today he explains the intricacies of the free bass accordion to distinguished masters of the concert hall such as Maestro Gunther Herbig.

Completed in late 1992, the work was commissioned by The Toronto Symphony, with financial assistance from both The Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.  It is dedicated to the artist Joseph Macerollo, who first began a collaboration with Mr. Schafer in 1970, a working relationship which led to significant accordion parts in The Patria Cycle, most notable being La Testa d'Adriane from The Greatest Show.

The special challenge of a concerto acting as the focal point of the International Accordion Celebration taking place this week in Toronto created a wonderful stimulus for this commission.

The concerto is in the traditional three movement form, FAST, SLOW, FAST, with several cadenza-like passages throughout.  The most unconventional feature of the concerto is the featuring of such low colours as bass clarinet, contrabassoon, horn, bass trombones, that blend well with the dark sonorities of the accordion.  Constantly shifting rhythmic meters add incredible excitement.

The concerto will stand as a testament to the versatility of the instrument.  Schafer has expanded the creative potential of the accordion with this fine contribution to the accordion concerto repertoire.

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