Accordion Music Testimonials > Praise 7
Accordion Show Review
GREETINGS FROM OUR CLUB PRESIDENT DICK SCHMIT:
Everyone was on the edge of their sets when Tony Lovello performed for us (and I
do mean performed). What a show! To those who couldn’t make it you missed the
show of the year.
Joyce and I had the privilege of spending time with Tony and he assured me that
he would return again. He is not only an outstanding accordionist, but also a
friend and member of PAAC. If you should like to purchase any of his CD’s, get
in touch with me. Thanks again, Tony, for such an enjoyable afternoon.
They Loved Lovello! All the hype about Tony Lovello (The Liberace of the
Accordion), was true – he’s an exceptionally talented musician with incredible
stamina who presented our MAC audience with a razzle-dazzle program and seminar
that left the audience felling breathless. If you missed the program, you truly
missed one of the best! Additionally, he is such a nice and fun person to be
around. Several of our members who, due to conflicts, were unable to attend his
MAC performance, were able to catch up with him at his performances in Chicago
and Green Bay…some just wanted to hear him a second time! Thanks, Tony – we look
forward to a return visit!
This month we celebrate National Accordion Awareness Month, our MAC audience
will be treated to the Milwaukee Accordion Club Ensemble under the direction of
Beverly White-Persa. The Ensemble presented the pre-meeting program of the
Chicago Accordion Club this past month and were well received by that group.
Several of us are preparing to attending various accordion festivals across the
country – in full swing at this time of the year. Please share your experiences
with the MAC if you attend one of these – and keep practicing!
That pretty much describes the music and sentiment of a Tony Lovello concert
experience. It is a pleasurable musical occasion for anyone who’s had the good
fortune to be entertained by this master of the piano accordion.
Tony brings genuine, heartfelt excitement to every interpretation he shares.
He’s bursting with energy, too! For those of us who play the instrument, it’s an
astounding feat to watch someone stand, stroll, jump, kick…and literally vibrate
and shake for more than an hour while wearing an instrument that weighs nearly
30 pounds! Tony walks backwards while playing. He glides from side to side while
playing. His fingers race effortlessly up and down the length of the keyboard,
while feverishly working the basses in a variety of rhythms. His bellow shakes
cannot be measured in bars or lines. They’re pages in length. That translates to
minutes at a time in performance…on a single musical section or idea.
Our Liberace of the Accordion made his entrance playing a Petosa acoustic AM
1100 equipped with a wireless mic pickup system. He performed a patriotic medley
of AMERICA and GOD BLESS AMERICA. He had everyone standing within minutes and
singing these devotions to freedom and democracy in the wake of the 9/11
BYE, BYE, BLACKBIRD followed and the orchestral sounds and rhythms from the
opening songs settled into a steady beat. Next, Tony rewarded an audience member
with a complimentary CD when that person successfully translated the title of
his first Italian selection, MALA FEMMENA (A “Bad Woman”). He was working the
crowed, now. Opera anyone? We were treated to an extended medley of Neopolitan
favorites and arias: FUNICULI, FUNICULA; VESTI LA GIUBBA (from Pagliacci);
O’SOLO MIO; and NESSUN DORMA (from Turandot). The modulations and dynamics were
perfectly matched to the music. Tony’s accordion bellows work was as close to
vocal phrasing as one could imagine.
The glissando attacks from mid-air…the hand vibrato…the repeated single notes
with one finger…the frequent use of registers/pitches…the bellow shakes
(including triple)…were all evident in ample quantity throughout the concert.
Tony vibrates the accordion with his right hand on the keyboard. It’s been
compared to MIDI software, but it’s Tony’s incredible control. He moved among
the audience and let anyone feel the vibrato in his right hand and arm, while he
continued to play. FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE had some vocal lyric added, as well.
For more than five minutes Tony performed his signature piece, MALAGUENA. Only a
virtuoso could create and sustain a bellow shake the way Tony does it. His pure
physicality throughout this performance demonstrated his amazing control over
both the music and the accordion. It literally lifted him off his feet at the
LADY OF SPAIN was presented in increments as if Tony’s agent many years ago
might have tried to determine his capabilities with the music and the
instrument. “Give it some flash”… “Shake that thing”…Tony complied with a number
of variations for the audience, and added: “I even do it in two keys!”
MY WAY, STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, ARREVIDERCI ROMA, BEER BARREL POLKA, TWILIGHT
TIME, PEG O’ MY HEART, NEW YORK-NEW YORK, GREEN EYES (another recording was
given away to the person correctly identifying the vocalist and band, Helen
O’Connell and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra), SPANISH EYES, and I’LL BE SEEING YOU
were performed wither in excerpts or their entirety. Homage was paid to
SHARPSHOOTER’S MARCH when Tony played the bridge with the bass solo in quick
time, then doubled it for good measure on the repeat!
Tony Lovello’s virtuosity it to be appreciated all the more when you realize
that he put his music and accordion into semi-retirement for several decades
while managing a large hotel in Kentucky. As Tony put it, he had the
responsibility for 370 rooms, an 18-hole golf course, 2 swimming pools, 3
kitchens, 172 employees, (and 65 thieves!). Anyone who hears Tony play can more
fully appreciate his return to concert performing and accordion/showmanship
seminars. He admits he walks around to “show off”. We admire Tony for his talent
and his conviction about the accordion as a concert instrument capable of
reproducing sonorous, symphonic interpretations.