When Judith Serota left the Spitalfields Festival after nearly twenty years at the helm, I felt a very special leaving present was required. There can be few people in the world whose love and enthusiasm for music exceeds Judith's, and knowing that she had recently become a keen student of the piano, I thought that a specially-written collection of new compositions for herself to play would seem an appropriate gift. I consequently approached all of the Spitalfields Festival Artistic Directors asking them to write a short variation; Chris Sayers chose the theme and, except for Richard Hickox who - far too modestly perhaps - felt his compositional skills were not up to the task, all of them enthusiastically set about composing pieces for Judith. As the variations began to land on my doormat, I could see that there was the making of a fine collection of eminently playable little gems. David Titterington produced the realisation of the original Stölzel tune immortalised by Bach, I chose an order for the variations and Judith was duly presented with her Klavierbüchlein after an excellent first performance by Andrew Blankfield at her leaving party on November 30th 2007.
Since then, four new variations have been added to the collection bringing the total to eleven. Each is completely individual and all have their composer's personality shining through. The gift was made for Judith, but I hope it will also provide much joy and inspiration to all pianists who enjoy exploring something fresh and different.
Diana Burrell. Artistic Director, Spitalfields Festival, 2006 – 2009
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Sheet music can be purchased from Music Room
'Each piece flows from one to the next, abetted by Tan's mellifluous and caring interpretations. A most enjoyable, enchanting 22 minutes of music, well worth downloading' Gramophone