“Notching up her half-century has clearly not quelled the joy of discovery and sense of adventure that's marked the career of this delightful artist. Worth the price of the disc alone are Dansa negra by Mozart Carmargo Guarnieri (1907-93), Lecuona's La conga de media noche, and Old Style, the disc's one concession to dance music by a British composer, specially written for Stott by Graham Fitkin... Satie's salon waltz Je te veux affords another unexpected find, but it's the final selection, Chopin's Mazurka in A minor... that is the most moving... performance on this most enjoyable disc.” --Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

“Kathryn Stott's enjoyable and warmly recorded recital of dance pieces has a Latin-American bias, an idiom for which she has an evident empathy. Stott shapes the sultry rhythms and sensuous harmonies with allure and velvety touch.” -- BBC Music Magazine, October 2008 ****

Kathryn Stott writes: ‘This year is very much a celebration for me – a fiftieth birthday and thirty years on the concert platform! When Ralph Couzens and I started to discuss plans for a solo CD, I was very keen to record repertoire which would reflect my wide taste in music from around the world. The subject ‘dance’ was in my head from the start and so here we have a musical journey encompassing South American countries, Romanian and Hungarian folk music, and dances from the Polish Mazurka to the Russian Polka, via Finland, France and Spain, to name but a few! Piazzolla sits alongside Satie as do Sibelius and Albéniz… dances both joyous and sad. I’m particularly excited to include the world premiere of Old Style, a birthday present from one of my favourite British composers, Graham Fitkin.’

South American music is a great love of Stott’s and so the inclusion of Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Ginastera, Guarnieri and Lecuona was essential: ‘Valsa da dor I find both touching and passionate, whereas Ginastera’s Danza has a distant sadness, which is almost untouchable.’ Stott has previously worked with the members of Piazzolla’s original Quintet, and has remained an avid fan ever since. Here she performs Milonga del ángel, a work that recreates the haunting sound of the bandoneón.

This eclectic repertoire of dances is completed by the premiere of Old Style by Graham Fitkin, written for Kathryn Stott in celebration of her landmark anniversaries this year: ‘For the past ten years, Graham has been writing the most fantastic music for me – always challenging but with such a fantastic energy. This piece is no exception and I feel its inclusion is an important part of this international and rather special journey.’

Kathryn Stott’s birthday celebrations culminate in a concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 4 December, at which a total of twenty-five colleagues will perform with her, including Yo-Yo Ma, Natalie Clein, the Hermitage String Trio and Martin Roscoe.

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