The improbable duo of traditional-music accordionist Jeremiah McLane and classical pianist Annemieke Spoelstra have been on an extended tour to promote their new recording “DANSE” and the timing worked out for them to be the first ensemble to inaugurate the new performance lights we installed at the Saranac Methodist “Church in the Hollow.” They had played a lot of this repertoire for us in a house concert about 18 months earlier in anticipation of the recording. It was such a winning program that we wanted more people to have the opportunity to hear them in a public venue.
Six Rumanian Dances of Bartok and Twelve Armenian Dances of Hovhaness formed the bulk of the first half, along with “Slavonic Dance” of Dvorak and “Ruchenitsa,” a raucous traditional wedding Bulgarian dance preceded by a stately “Douarnanez” (a traditional dance of Normandy) composed by Jeremiah. The second half featured Poulenc’s Suite Francaise, based on renaissance dances, and several movements of Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, including a pavane and a waltz. Piazzolla was also a strong presence on the program, with “Tristeza de un doble A” and two movements from “History of the Tango.” Considering the fact that none of the music was conceived for accordion-piano duo, it is all the more interesting to note that Jeremiah and Annemieke produced the arrangements themselves. Well done!