Tones and Colors is a new piano album inspired by artwork. Liza Stepanova presents music by Bach, Martinu, and Gyorgy Ligeti among others. Ligeti's original idea had been to compose twelve Études, in two books of six each, ala Debussy, but the scope of his etudes grew...one of our favorites from this new collection is the Infinite Column etude that Ligeti composed. You can hear it on What's New.
WBAA's John Clare had a chance to speak with Liza Stepanova about her CAG album Tones and Colors.
Liza writes: The program on the disc came together organically. There were some works I wanted to feature from the start, like the Fanny Mendelssohn or Wagner’s Overture to "Tannhäuser" in the Liszt transcription. The Wagner is one of my favorite works and was broadly influential, especially with French visual artists at the time (it had an important premiere in Paris). Liszt also stands out as a musician with a wide range of interests: beyond transcriptions, he composed some of the first musical descriptions of paintings and sculptures in his collection, "Years of Pilgrimage." Sets began to arrange themselves. Going back to Enrique Granados who was famously obsessed with Francisco Goya, Spanish composers frequently embraced programmatic music, including references to art. I am fascinated with the completely opposite reflections of Goya by Granados (light, flirtatious) and the 20th-century composer Maurice Ohana, who chose one of Goya’s devastating war etchings as his inspiration.
We also love her video of Chopin: