Klassik Heute: outstanding.
’With the accordion I am in the middle of the action. I narrate, sing, dance and walk – and also weep, lament, rejoice or express gratitude.’ This is how Mie Miki in her liner notes to this disc describes performing Grieg’s Lyric Pieces on the accordion. ’Butterfly, for instance, is played quite differently from on the piano: here I myself become the butterfly and regard the landscape from a butterfly’s perspective. On the piano just the opposite would have been true.’
Out of the 66 Lyric Pieces, Mie Miki has selected 24 of her favourites, presenting them interspersed with a few other pieces by Grieg: three Norwegian folk tunes and Anitra’s Dance and The Death of Åse from Peer Gynt. No adaptations have been necessary in transferring these beloved pieces to the accordion – Mie Miki plays them straight from the piano score. And yet, how differently they sound on the new instrument. The drones of some of the more folk-inspired dances are more reminiscent than ever of the harding-fiddle, and the butterfly flits back and forth more weightlessly. And as for emotional impact, the incessantly repeated melody of The Death of Åse grows into a storm of sorrow in the bellows of the instrument, before slowly coming to a resigned rest. Mie Miki is a highly versatile musician, as proved by her discography – on BIS she has released recordings of music from Heinrich Isaac and Machaut via Bach to Sofia Gubaidulina and contemporary Japanese composers such as Toshio Hosokawa. Described as a ‘tone painter on her instrument’ in a Fono Forum review of a previous disc, she here gives examples of every nuance available on her rich palette.