Oleg Sharov plays "Flight of the Bumblebee" on accordion

Such a showoff, that Oleg Sharov. (Via Filled With Chocolate Pudding)


  1. My father was well known among NY-area brass players for playing Flight on the trombone…

  2. Unreal!!!! I like that he keeps a straight face through out as though it’s no big deal.

    Here’s a friend playing it on vibraphone :-D

  3. The keyboard player in my first band in 8th grade (Hi Dave!) was a California champ on accordion and could play this, and did at the talent show. I think it’s a lot easier on the accordion than the piano, more akin to playing it on the trumpet (see: Harry James) in the economy of finger movement necessary.

  4. Dude, that’s not just an accordion, that’s a free-bass bayan. Sweet box.

    The button layout is such that you can transpose to any key simply by shifting you starting position – all the rest remains the same. Much easier than transposing on a piano (or standard piano accordion).


  5. That is a very worthy video. So is this one:


    Now, “Everyone knows” that Dick Contino played the best version of Lady of Spain. Well, youtube doesn’t have that, but they DO have Dick Contino ripping through “Caravan”:

    And how could we watch accordion videos without a version of “Tico Tico”? It just wouldn’t be right!

    So here’s Myron again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q2lxwlP65g

    Also, this is a definitive intro to american accordion masters: http://www.amazon.com/Legends-Accordion-Various-Artists/dp/B0000033FV

  6. The flight of the bumblebee on accordion is impossible. But Oleg doesn’t know that so he plays anyway… He must be creating an air vortex over the keys.

  7. Thank you, Yri — I could see that the bass wasn’t Stradella, but I haven’t seen enough bayans to recognize it. I appreciate the ID.

    Now _that’s_ the kind of free-bassing I could really get into.

    (I’ve mostly stopped playing my accordion these days — concertina is a lot more portable, not that I spend enough time practicing on it either.)

  8. All technique, no love for the actual composition. Kinda like an Al Dimeola for the squeezebox. Dazzling yes, but no soul.

  9. I love how some early editor decided that his playing wasn’t dazzling enough so they added in the Kaleidoscope effect for good measure. If only there had been 7 more of himself, spinning around the central Oleg. They could have saved some time in post.

  10. “No soul”? I thought he had pretty impressive dynamics and expression, particularly given the speed, and the instrument in question. What exactly is the soul of ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ if not blinding speed with a good pulse?

  11. Surely I am not he only one to note the similarity in the accordian buttons and the pattern of a bee’s honeycomb…

  12. Doran: it’s not a piece that lends itself to soul. A computer could play it with as much feeling as as anyone who has ever performed it.

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