(2011 - Autoprod - Belgium)
Even if you have heard many other musicians play accordion I promise you have never heard anyone play like Anne Niepold. And if you can see her play live, then you’ll have the experience of this being like no other as well. Swinging lamps, a metronome as a guest percussionist, graphical spotlights, bird calls, and even nice voice added as she does a one woman show that both surprises and stuns the audience.
This Belgian accordionist has total command of her instrument and surpasses the limits as to what music is typically squeezed out of a diatonic accordion. On her “Terrain Vague” release, she brings about additional musicians to give her music yet more colors and variations. The group is Floris de Rycker : theorbe, Nicolas Garnier : oboe, Jo Hermans : bugle, Jérémie Mignotte : flute, Joris Vanvinckenroye : bass, Antonio Paz : vocals, and Stéphane Sanseverino : vocals. Like the duo Anne plays in Duex Accords Diront, on their “Eisherz”, there is great backing of musicians. Jo Hemans plays on both recordings.
In the 60 minutes of music presented here, there are 14 compositions that range from bright cheerful spry to melancholy, meditative, and haunting pieces and then to some excellent traditional pieces, even a song by J.S. Bach. Many tracks have some unbelievable frisky finger work and all of Anne’s work is done with such feeling and total commitment from the soul. You can clearly hear this and the high attention to detail throughout the recording. The styles she creates are continuously interesting and bring together a disc of undeniable talent, wit, and great taste. I loved the many journeys I was taken on listening to the entire CD each time. I appreciate the many instruments used, and the marvelous way they are used. I heard touches of ZNR in track 6 (‘Löwenzahn’) even though much of it is evocative and even eerie. For lovers of Lars Holmer and the world of exploring accordions, you can’t get any better than this. “Terrain Vague” has plenty of variety, abundant atmosphere, and a deluge of skill. Recommended!!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on October 24th, 2012