And I came cross this. Do not laugh until you listen to this performance of Vivaldi’s Summer, the Presto movement:

Ukrainian-born Alexander Hrustevich is one of the best bayanists in the world. Mr. Hrustevich is constantly invited to perform in many countries, including Poland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Serbia and many others. Just recently, he performed in Kiev, accompanying the world famous musician Bobby McFerren. He is a winner of many international competitions, including “Golden Accordion” (New York), ”Od baroka do jazza” (Poland), ”Accoholiday” (Ukraine) and others.

Mr. Hrustevich plays many transcriptions of classical music, for example, Tchaikovsky Concerto for violin, and what is most extraordinary — he plays both orchestral and violin parts simultaneously. He also plays Bach, Balakirev (“Islamey”), Rachmaninov (“Vocalise”), Wieniawski, Vivaldi, Korsakov (“The Flight of the Bumble Bee”) and other pieces of classical piano and orchestral repertoire.

As prof. David Yearsley writes about Mr. Hrustevich’s recording, which he saw on Youtube: “The small stage on which Hrustevich demonstrates his art is festooned with yellow and orange balloons and fake flower garlands, the camera is hand-held, but despite all of this, you can feel how great are this virtuoso’s gifts.” The professor also compares his interpretations of Bach Passacaglia with a pianist:

“Tricky passages that the pianist divided between the two hands, Hrustevich manages with one. He revels in the virtuosic spectacle of fingers flying and sliding and contorting over buttons and in the same time picking almost every note cleanly. It’s rather like playing the Bach Passacaglia on a travel typewriter, only harder.”

It’s just nuts! Here’s Hrustevich’s Tchaikovsky Concerto for violin, the presto from the 3rd movement.

Kelly Canfield

Kelly Canfield