One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Arrangements from Bizet's opera
Ksenija Sidorova (accordion)
Nuevo Mundo (instrumental ensemble); Itamar Doari (percussion); Reentko Dirks (guitar); Michael Abramovich (piano/musical direction)
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra/Sascha Goetzel
rec. August-November 2015, Berlin, Istanbul, London
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 5224 [52:36]

This is not an album for purists. You might have guessed that from the fact that Bizet's name appears nowhere on the cover. The seventeen tracks are free arrangements informed by knowing twenty-first century intelligence fantasising around the music from Carmen. This is a personality-centric album with the virtuoso accordionist Ksenija Sidorova at its centre and entertainment in satellite movement around that centre. It's not a solo album. Sidorova can be heard with various soloists and with two ensembles: Nuevo Mundo (flute, clarinet, soprano sax, trumpet, trombone, harp, violin, cello, bass) or the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sascha Goetzel. The orchestra appears in Chanson bohéme, Love Song, Sunrise Over Seville, The Other Woman, Date With Destiny and Reflections.

Sidorova is given a big confident sound-image well to the fore of the ensemble or orchestral; take The Other Woman as an example. That towering self-assurance is replicated in the booklet in which the DG design consultants have been given free rein with seven sultry and brooding images of Sidorova: Sidorova as Carmen in most of the cases. The music sidles, slides and swoons - femme fatale undiluted. Mind you there is a vein of lively boastful strut as well as in À la bohémienne. Sidorova impresses, there's no doubt of that. The inherent wheeze of the instrument is controlled and indulged in quite a breath-taking way and when a steady note production is needed it is forthcoming almost as if the accordion is emulating a violin (Chanson bohème).

On occasions Sidorova is joined by a real violin. This comes in the form of a smiling smooch, straight from the mainstream style-book of Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club de France. At other moments there are tango influences from Argentina and Piazzolla. La fiesta plays with the concept as it patters and hoofs it with the best. There are touching moments too such as in the misty suggestiveness of Reflections and Love song. Goetzel and the Borusan Istanbul band have made quite a vivid impact in various contexts but here they exercise restraint and play down their accustomed neon: fidelity to professionalism.

This concept album joins a long line of re-creations leaning on the resilience of the Carmen opera. It stands at the other extreme from Shchedrin and Sarasate and is closer to Carmen Jones but with its own popular-orientated identity.

Sidorova has also done 'serious' in a Champs Hill CD 'Classical Accordion' reviewed here and has had a walk-on part in another DG celebrity disc for guitarist Miloš Karadaglić (review review).

Brace yourself: this album is not for the strait-laced.

Rob Barnett


1. Carmen's Walk [0:49]
2. Seguidillas [2:40]
3. La Siesta [2:53]
4. Chanson bohème [4:28]
5. Love Song [3:53]
6. Soir mélancolique [2:14]
7. Sunrise Over Seville [5:15]
8. In The Cards [5:13]
9. La Fiesta [1:57]
10. The Other Woman [3:55]
11. Spanish Pride [2:22]
12. À la bohémienne [2:41]
13. Date With Destiny [3:32]
14. Reflections [2:11]
15. Daybreak [3:31]
16. Toreador (Los Toreros) [4:11]
17. Carmen's Shadow [0:51]



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger