The same music, even when the score is correctly read according to universally accepted rules, often reveals itself superior to an acceptably academic standard.  Proof of this is to be heard in this new, long recording by Willi Burger for chromatic harmonica and piano.

 It opens with the Three Romances by Schumann in which the oboe is replaced by an exemplary performance that in no way diminishes the romantic lyricism expressed by the composer. To follow, the poignant melody, Nigun, by Ernest Bloch, Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch, and the theme from Schindler’s List by John Williams. The famous Méditation op. 42 n. 1 by Tchaikovsky precedes the Toledo by James Moody (arrangement by M. Parolini). Gershwin’s celebrated Summertime (arranged by A. Varaldo), and Preludio n. 2, are re-interpreted in a more classical way.

 The Burger-Parolini Duo delights us with their arrangement of Invierno Porteño by Astor Piazzolla, followed by the Milonga in D. An overwhelming performance of the Sabre Dance by Khačaturian brings us to the finale of this CD. How well Burger captures the composer’s soul  in every piece of this excellent performance! by Antonio Piana


An artistic biography on Willi Burger would be boundless. He has been a myth since the mid-fifties. Well-known all over the world for  the quality of his performance and teaching skills, he has brought the chromatic harmonica to the apex of its expression, overcoming many difficulties on the way, an accomplishment that is based on deep-rooted study and unquestionable musicianship. His virtuosity does not confine itself to a fast “technical”  reproduction of the notes on the pentagram, but dignifies his talent in the respect displayed for the quality of the music. Without this one might just as well make use of computer science and be content with a flat, even if correct so-called “midi”. A mere linking together of notes is not enough, however, to bring out their soul and create the atmosphere they hold within.

Very few harmonicas bear the name of their performers. This honour was rightly reserved to the Milanese, Willi Burger, for his  “Amadeus”, one of  Hohner’s best designs.

Burger is a complete and refined artist. His great ambition has been to show the world of classical music, with its well established brass, wind and string sections, the worth of this little instrument. The mastery of his interpretation has managed not only to enchant but also to teach, and not only those who have attended his  Master classes in various parts of the world.

He has been accompanied by entire orchestras, chamber ensembles, classical guitarists and various pianists. On this CD he is brilliantly accompanied by the Italian pianist, Marcello Parolini, whose arrangement can only deserve equal merit. 

Composers of great talent have dedicated entire pieces of music to him, inspired by the emotions that pervade their works when performed by Willi Burger. by Antonio Piana

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