Bach Played on the Accordion, Part 2

Last spring I posted a video made by Steen of a young Russian musician on a street corner in Copenhagen playing J. S. Bach on the accordion. Steen ran into him again yesterday, and has taken two more videos.

The musician’s name is Michael Olefir, and I recognize what he’s playing: the Andante (first) movement of Trio Sonata #3 in D minor, BWV 527. His version is played quite a bit faster than the one I’m used to.

Here’s what Steen said about the occasion:

I love that guy from St. Petersburg. We are having a beautiful late summer — 25º centigrade [77º F], and to the music of Bach; it’s all perfect. A video to listen to in December!

Steen has also written a small essay for the occasion. It’s in Danish, and I’ll re-post it here for those of you who can read it. Steen asked me to add this:

My reference to Ludvig Holberg is important. Norwegian-born, playwright, professor in Copenhagen. The most important advocate of reason back then — and very funny. Still the main act of the Royal Theatre — “Denmark’s Molière”.

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And now Steen’s essay. I can’t read much of it, but it does say that Mr. Olefir’s accordion was specially built to play organ music:

Fiolstræde, sensommer, lange skygger: Bach

Michael Olefir fra Skt. Petersborg, Endu et nummer her. Olefir er ikke en hvilken somhelst gademusikant. Han er uddanet i den russiske skole fra 5-års alderen. Hans accordion er bygget specielt til orgelmusik. Lyden på en mobilvideo er ikke high fidelity, men det er det nærmeste man kommer et orgel, hvis man ikke skal over i Domkirken. Lige overfor hvor han sidder, boede Ludvig Holberg på sine gamle dage (se epitafiet på muren). Jeg forestiller mig Fiolstræde ikke er så forandret på de 250 år. I Domkirken kommer jeg til højmesse d. 25 december. Ikke for at studere de mondæne kändissar i nertzpels, — de gamle socialister er blevet kristelige — men for at høre musikken. Udvidet kor, blæsere og en fuld kirke. Man har lyst til at klappe af begejstring, men det er jo ikke en Torsdagskoncert med 10 minutters ovation og fremkaldelser. Man tar´sig i det og lytter til biskop Erik Norman Svendsen. Han er ikke dum. Han kan gå på line sprogligt, noget der volder domprovst Gadegaard mere besvær. Når biskoppen “shamer” mig, opdager jeg det næsten ikke. Men det er endnu én af folkekirkens store dyder: Skæld dem ud, men blidt, så de ikke kræver kirkeskatten tilbage og forlanger republikken indført. Stryg dem lidt medhårs, og lidt modhårs, så går alle glade og berigede hjem. Kierkegaard ville have rakt ud efter brækspanden, men han var jo heller ikke helt vel forvaret. Det forsøger vi at være, selvom det kan smutte.

Mobilvideos (c) Snaphanen

7 thoughts on “Bach Played on the Accordion, Part 2

  1. Look! A Russian! Barbarian, barbarian, barbarian!

    I can see innocent blood comming out of his mouth!

    Remember, we’re all humans, even muslims, Jews and… mind you! Russians!

    By the way, today 1st September the (muslim) attack on Beslan makes four years.

  2. Afonso,

    Look! A Russian! Barbarian, barbarian, barbarian!

    Well, he looks like a pretty normal and down to earth sort of guy. So surely he’s content with the way Putin is running Russia, which makes him evil! We’d need to send him to the re-education camp of the Soros funded John McCain institute of “Invade the world, invite the world”, where he will be brainwashed with mindless Western jingoism. And the hateful Western jingoists (as the ones we have here in the forum) will teach him that Russia of today is “Stalinmania”, etc.

    But hey! The clip is of a Russian playing German music! There’s only one people that Western jingoists hate more than the Russians and that’s the Germans. So we will probably have to send him to an additional re-education camp. There are also the following camps: “One-world democracy”, “Freedom or else!”, “Freiheit macht frei”.

  3. I can’t help having a strange feeling – a hunch – that something is dreadfully wrong about the way Russia is condemned these days. All those political correct dignitaries like the EU oligarchs, the entire MSM, the US State Dept. and do-gooders all stumble over their own feet to call for sanctions, embargo and whatnot – warnot?

    Aren’t the Russians doing exactly the same thing as the above mentioned saints did when they carved Kosovo out of Serbia?

    Whenever the EUSSR is in agreement with Mr. G.W Bush (Islam is a religion of peace) I smell something fishy.

  4. This post was meant to be an interlude in the unpleasant political argumentation that has become all too common in this blog. Steen’s excellent work provided a calm and contemplative alternative to business as usual, but the mood has been ruined by those who cannot help themselves and must descend into nasty invective and anti-Semitism.

    I’ve deleted all the off-topic and offensive entries and closed the thread to further comments.

    “It is written, ‘and my house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.”

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