Katherine Kozak said: "What is interesting to me about the use of the accordion in this score, is how Weill scores it to make use of the many varied colors and textures of which the instrument is capable. It has the capacity to be used both rhythmically and lyrically. It is sometimes highlighted, and sometimes used as a supporting color, in different numbers.
The accordion provides strong rhythmic reinforcement in certain numbers. In "Train to Johannesburg", the drums as well as the chorus voices evoke the chugg-chugg sound of a train (at one point, towards the end of the piece, the chorus sings repeatedly "click click cluckety"). The accordion joins by playing rhythmic chords, and supports the aural imagery of a train.
There is also rhythmic reinforcement in "Big Mole". This is a song in 2/4 time, right before the heavy climax of the show, where I believe Weill attempted to loosen the tension a bit. It is sung by a young boy, where he describes a toy he made himself. Here, the accordion helps with the toe-tapping and simplicity of the number.
Very interestingly, is that in both the aforementioned numbers, Weill has the accordion switch back and forth between rhythmic reinforcement and melody lines. These are the only two numbers in the score in which the instrument plays prominent melody lines.
There are several other points, though, where the instrument is treated lyrically, and often plaintively. Three emotionally charged numbers use it to underline the gravity and desperation of the subject. The number which closes the first act, "Lost in the Stars", the protagonist states aloud, to himself, how he is lost emotionally after a disturbing series of events. The accordion plays rich chords sympathetically, in slow-moving harmonies.
"O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me" is also sung by the protagonist, this time a prayer to God/Tixo, near the beginning of the second act. Again, the accordion supports with full-bodied chords, the harmonies often changing only one measure at a time.
"Cry, the Beloved Country", the name of the novel which this piece is based, is sung by the character of The Leader and the chorus after a heavily-charged scene in a courtroom in which a death sentence is pronounced to the protagonist's only son. Again, the accordion commiserates with the gravity of the subject with mournful chords, sometimes used legato, sometimes used as punctuation.
As I play piano in the pit for this show, I have enjoyed my place next to Henry, as he plays with such expertise and personality. He is secure on the instrument and his role in the orchestra, and his competency and skillful playing are well-appreciated."