Stephanie Varozza | Fire & Grace

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United States - California - SF

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Classical: Piano solo Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Piano
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Fire & Grace

by Stephanie Varozza

Solo piano classical/jazz fusion - "the kind of jazz Beethoven and Liszt would be writing if they were alive today."
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Fire and Grace
18:15 $0.99
clip
2. Soliloquy
3:53 $0.99
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3. In the Sorrow, Solace
6:26 $0.99
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4. Song For A Child
9:28 $0.99
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5. Chloe's Song
6:21 $0.99
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6. Fantasy For Jambo
9:00 $0.99
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7. If I Had But One Wish
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Pianist and composer Stephanie Varozza is a San Francisco Bay Area artist whose original work has been described as “the jazz that Beethoven and Liszt would be playing if they were alive today.”

CRITICAL COMMENTS:

“Varozza is a formidable talent, a dazzling performer, whose original material throbs and pulses with exciting rhythms and motifs. It’s a kind of jazz ⎯ but an unimprovised jazz that only a top-flight classical performer and composer could develop.” - Pacifica Tribune

“Classically trained, Varozza has ventured into the jazz arena with a unique kind of music that packs a powerful punch. Her strong, sophisticated style is characterized by a gorgeous lyricism, a dazzling technique, intricate, agile passagework, and vigorous, strangely (and appealingly) tactile rhythms.”
- East Bay Express

“a delightful fusion of classical and jazz styles” - Trinity Chamber Concerts


LINER NOTES:

Fire & Grace (18:12): This piece comes from a passion for life and all that comes with that passion. It evokes a fiery temperament and a graceful spirit. Intensity, courage, strength. Fire can be the inner power we use to get through the trials and tribulations of life and the heat and intensity of those trials that forges our strength. Grace is the balancing element of the quiet times, of serenity and contemplation, and also the joyfulness, and playfulness that is part of being alive. In the structure of the piece, there are musical themes that come back, but are never identical to their first appearance.

Soliloquy (3:50): One of the definitions of this word is talking to yourself while alone, or, as in a play, to the audience with the illusion of unspoken thoughts. This piece picks up both of those definitions. Not daydreaming, rather, musing. Thinking about things that are going on in your life.

In the Sorrow, Solace (6:23): This piece has to do with those times when a person feels sorrow and yet still manages to find solace. For me, solace was playing the piano, being in nature, being with animals. For other people, it may be sitting at the beach or under a tree, or weeping, or meditation. It’s where you find comfort when you feel sadness.

Song For A Child (9:25): This piece is dedicated to my six “kids.” I was inspired by my love for my nephews and nieces, inspired from my childhood, from being a child and from being close to my six nieces and nephews and seeing them grow up. There’s a lot of love in this piece.

Chlöe’s Song (6:18) / Fantasy for Jambo (8:57): These two pieces captures the essence, spirit, and personality of these beloved little creatures. If you listen closely, you will hear Chlöe’s theme come back in shortened form and in a different key in Fantasy for Jambo.

If I Had But One Wish (3:53): Poses the question: if I had but one wish, what would I wish for? But only one wish, not three. All the sayings and stories that have “wish” in them come to mind – be careful what you wish for; if wishes were horses, beggars would ride; the magic genie with three wishes. There’s desire, longing, hesitance, and ambivalence.

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Reviews


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Tina Hagopian

This ain't Muzak!
Stephanie's lyrically-complex and rhythmically-dense compositions hint at emotions and meaning behind their titles. Her music requires your attention!
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claire-marie holman

master of the staccato, hands faster than the wind!
This CD by Stephanie fills the range from quite moods to grand cresendos. A must for KKSF listeners. I just love it.
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Anna

Compelling, involving, and gorgeous solo piano!
Fire & Grace is a gorgeous collection from a very skilled and accomplished composer and performer. Stephanie's pieces are lush, evocative, and imaginative; one moment powerful and driving, another moment quiet and crystalline. Listening to the individual tracks, my mind is filled with images, even storylines; I'm transported to another place. It's unlikely you've ever heard music like this. The two-minute clips give just a glimpse of what you'll hear in the entire CD. There's so much to each piece -- the title track runs 18 minutes, the others range from 4 to 9 minutes. If you like solo piano, you'll love this CD!
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Michele Levington

An amazing, enchanting, musical journey--and technically brilliant!
Ms. Varozza's Fire & Grace is a monumental, towering masterpiece, filled with ideas and colors, whispers and shouts, songs of yearning and fulfillment--and joy. All brilliantly executed, weaving an adroit tapestry themes and motifs, and seasoned with a mature sagacity of a masterful performer; the piano speaks through her very knowingly. Note to professionals (and serious listeners): The left hand technique is beyond virtuoso. (Wow, how in the world can anybody do all that?) But the technical prowess serves to enhance the experience--note the subtle variations in the left hand figures as a song develops--and helps tell the story. In sum, this CD is treasure, to be savored over and over. For years to come. Five stars!
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Justin Dal Pozzo

The composition, "Fire and Grace," could not be any better tilted.
Fire and Grace truely reflects it's title in the firey passion of this composition. The melodic softness tempering the firey passion is Grace in it self. Well worth the listening.
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Rob Soulé

Brillant, Sparkling, Complex and Layered.
Fire and Grace is a sparkling musical exploration both written and performed by Ms. Varozza. A beautiful understanding of the instrument informs her inventions and compositions. Her style exploits the nature and complexity of the instrument. She draws aural textures from the piano that are rich and layered. These musical tapestries feel timeless, blending contemporary and classical elements. The dynamic range is moving. There is an ebb and flow in pace and energy breathing inside the pieces. Small, quiet passages smoothly evolve into layered flowing torrents. Immediately appealing, this music will also reveal its depth over time… Awesome!
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Caryl Dockter

Complex rhythms, intriguing harmonies
Stephanie Varozza has impressive technique. Her compositions have a distinctive personal style with something of a Latin flavor. This is her best CD yet.
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M. Faria

evokes vast landscapes and journeys of the heart
The sheer beauty of the instrument in the hands of this artist, and the rich fusion of the compositions on Fire & Grace, is a listening experience both thrilling and tender. Brava!
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Suzanne McNamee

Fire & Grace perfectly describes this body of work.
Fire & Grace perfectly describes this body of work. Seldom is music so precise at manipulating emotions and constructing mental images within each individual composition. Just don't get too comfortable with your mental journey or too attached to your chosen destination because Ms. Varozza is in the driver's seat and she usually has a surprise or two for your itinerary.
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