Praised by The Guardian for her perfect guidance and lucid and sometimes combative path through the immense climaxes and bewildering changes of direction in Ives’ Piano Sonata No. 1 — and therefore rewarded a five star review — Tamara Stefanovich adds Bach’s Aria variata alla maniera italiana, Messiaen’s Cantéyodjayâ and Bartók’s Improvisations on peasant songs to the programme — all composers that created their own original and personal spaces, that are dear to her and had major impact on her artistry.
“This album tells the musical story of how Bach, Bartók, Messiaen and Ives embraced different cultures and musical styles: from Italian, to Hindu, folk, ragtime, blues and marching band. They each allowed themselves to be influenced by these cultures, showing how authenticity comes from looking outside as well as inside.
Here, then are the countries that most influenced, enhanced and“made” me who I am: Hungary, an empire of which my country formed for centuries just a small part (Hungarian was the language my grandmother spoke fluently); Germany, as it is my adopted home where my son was born and where emanates my favourite literature; France, the birthplace of my first piano teacher and my chosen life companion; finally, the US, the country where I studied, which my parents in post-war Yugoslavia considered their sanctuary, and that my brother calls home. What would we be without all these influences? And is it not wonderful that this question has no clear-cut or exclusive answer, but only an inclusive, multi-layered response, one richly interwoven and complex by its very nature? ” — Tamara Stefanovich