The origins of the accordion can be traced back to the Chinese Sheng, though the instrument we know as an accordion today was patented by Cyrillus Damian in Vienna in 1829. Popular the world over in various forms as a folk instrument, it was only in the latter half of the 20th century that the development of the ‘free-bass’ system which allowed for the freedom to move away from the arrangement of pre-set chords on the left-hand side of the instrument gave accordionists the opportunity to cross into the world of mainstream classical music. The accordion is a very expressive instrument and, as a synthesis of both a keyboard and wind instrument, it is capable of sustaining sounds, and producing a wonderful variety of timbres from its registers, with a large dynamic range. This disc contains some of the wonderful repertoire for the instrument in both solo and chamber capacities with a range of music spanning four centuries from Baroque sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti to a transcription of Carl Maria von Weber’s ‘Konzertstück ‘ from the Romantic era, to more contemporary works by Vladislav Zolotariev – his delightful ‘Sonata No 2’. Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Sensations are included on the disc – performed with the Maxwell String Quartet, and the recording concludes with one of his most famous works, ‘The Grand Tango’.