Michael Wollny and Vincent Peirani, Tandem

by Sylvannia Garutch

The eclectic German pianist Michael Wollny and the formidable French accordionist Vincent Peirani present a mix of original tunes and pieces by Björk, joined by Samuel Barber and Sufjan Stevens who also are known for crossing the borders of jazz, classical music and world infused folk references all with a cavalier vibe of ingenuity.  

Peirani gives an insightful introspective sound on the solemn “Song Yet Untitled,” while Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” begins with an enthusiastic swagger that becomes a racing underburn of minimalism. Björk’s “Hunter,” is aptly set to a flamenco pulse before Wollny takes off with steadfast pacing with ala, Chick Corea-esque flourishes and full handed chords.  The pianist’s skittering “Bells” exhibits the freedom both players shine on, this is where you truly see the brilliance of these two musicians. 
Moving in and out of chromatic nuances, Sufjan Stevens’ hymnal “Fourth of July,” is  tellingly austere, and the musicians improvised and written exchanges on Argentinian composer Tomás Gubitsch’s “Travesuras” is sublime, alternating between carefree traversing and hushed balladry themes.

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