This album was the culmination of a long-term project. Gayle, my pianist muse since our days at the Aspen Music Festival and Juilliard, had discussed her desire to record a CD with some of her favorite Romantic-era piano transcriptions, as well as two of my pieces. To Keep the Dark Away was commissioned for her, and Gayle herself commissioned Fantasy on St. Cecilia, a solo adaptation of my piano concerto, composed for and premiered by Gayle. The former fits with the mood of the Schumann, while the latter fits with the transcriptions created by their own composers, as is the case with Prokofiev, in Romeo and Juliet.
Daniel Kept wrote ‘…American composer Judith Shatin explores sound with an informed and inquisitive compositional palette. Her enthrallment with the tonal world at large – a cross genre interest in the banal as well as the brilliant, the electronic as well as the acoustic – informs with even greater clarity the succinct musical imagery and profound messaging of the spoken word.