I have this one. To my taste, Regondi's compositions are boring and overy chordy, which is not concertina's strengh. Perhaps, in Regondi's time most of EC's were tuned just, and it made the difference, but that aside, playing is not up to admtting level of peripherial Conservatory in former USSR. Admttedly, Russian musical education is aimed at creating few professionals, and majority just dropping off. But the high level is there.
I mainly judge by the often "on-off" feel of concertina playing. I'm sure musicians are aware of that and try hard to add expression, but it just doesn't come through enough.
This site's mp3's were listened by me over and over, and I have to say, with frustration.
Same problems: powerful chords make an impression of a bunch of sea lions. Probably it's due to equal tuning, I don't know. But may be the timbre of concertina reed in small box doesn't allow for unlimited use of big chords. I mostly liked the fast single line arrangements without the piano or strings. Concertina has very moody tone, and I think it would be great for doleful Yiddish songs, and it's one of the reasons I bought mine. But the thin metallic sound accompanied by piano is less then impressive. Clearly a composition made for another instrument, with more substantial presence.
Now, keep in mind, I don't intend to diminish what has been done, I just suspect that so far, the relative surge of concertina popularity hasn't yet produced musicians, who crossed the treshhold of acceptable quality, equal to other "academic" instruments. And EC is
an academic instrument, designed for "classical" music. Very well may be that it was a dead end with short life span, and it is simply not capable of the level of expression, associated with "serious" instrument. But I don't see why.
I haven't played top end Wakker, but I have played top end Wheatstone and Lachenal at our local "Lark in the Morning" on few ocasions. My hand made bayan compares more than favorably in it's voicing, ease to speak (at 20lbs), balance between low and high, power of high reeds. To my dismay even 'my' (now sold) off the shelf Weltmeister spoke with more ease than 'my' Albion. It was a subject of many discussions, and the resume was that due to small concertina size it is inborn. Well, why not make them slightly bigger then? Castagnari Tommy plays itself and it's small.
I think we are resting upon the euphoria of belonging to small exclusive clan, where the very vact of holding little multy-faseted box with bellows is subject of expected praise.
That's why I'm very excited about the braveness of Herrington and Tedrow. Too bad I don't play Anglo now due to some nerve problem in my palm. http://www.concertin.../soundfiles.htm