Liszt | Prokofiev | Shatin


Gayle Martin, Piano




Pianist Gayle Martin achieved international prominence as the sole American laureate of the sixth International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. The Washington Post called her performance “a tour de force” and praised her artistry for its “intense passion and deep-seated emotional response to the music.” The Woodstock Times cited her recital as one “which, if recorded on 78’s, could have fooled the average pianophile into thinking he or she was listening to one of the greats of the past.”  A native of Texas, Gayle was a student of Madame Rosina Lhévinne at The Juilliard School, where she was awarded the coveted Josef Lhévinne Prize.


Gayle’s vivid response to literature, sacred writings, ballet and opera inspired this Ravello release TO KEEP THE DARK AWAY, which pairs the emotional fervor, lyrical eloquence and narrative power of contemporary composer Judith Shatin with those same qualities in composers of the Romantic and early modern eras. Transcriptions, both by composers themselves, in the case of Prokofiev and Shatin, and by Liszt, in music of Schumann and Wagner, embody timeless tales, while musical accounts of St. Cecilia, of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and poetry of Emily Dickinson are here transformed into music.


Composer Judith Shatin has an uncanny ability to draw a line between the past, the present, and the future. This, along with Martin’s preternatural ability to discover and emphasize the connective tissue between them all, is something to behold. Shatin, who is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music, is known for her dramatic flair and inventive approach to timbral color. These are everywhere in evidence in her two compositions here.




Gayle Martin’s concerto performances include those with the California Philharmonic, the Denver and Houston Symphonies and the Minnesota Orchestra, while her recitals have taken her throughout America and to Eastern Europe and China.


Gayle Martin is a performer on the pianoforte as well as the piano, including all-Beethoven concerts on period instruments such as an 1807 Kartholnig.


Gayle has long been a champion of music by Judith Shatin, who composed her piano concerto, The Passion of St. Cecilia and related adaptation, Fantasy on St. Cecilia for Ms. Martin. In addition, her piano solo, To Keep the Dark Away was commissioned for and premiered by Ms. Martin.


Composer Judith Shatin (, called ‘a true sound artist, who…applies sound to the airwaves the same way a painter applies color to canvas…’ (Fanfare) , is known for her wide-ranging sonic explorations, and genre-bending compositions. Whether composing acoustic, electroacoustic or digital music, she finds innovative ways to integrate the elements.


Judith has been honored with four Composer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the New Jersey State Arts Council, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Lila Acheson-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program.




Gayle Martin, Piano


Recorded September 10-11, 2015 & December 5, 2015

at Octaven Audio in Yonkers NY


Recording Engineer, Digital Editing and Producer Marlan Barry

Studio Engineer Ryan Streber, Octaven Audio


This album was made possible in part by a grant from the University of Virginia, and by the kind generosity of supporters including: Nina Daniel, Reda Eubank, Jack Henry, Alison Jukes, Mayola Martin, Deborah Shatin, Susan Singer, Katherine and John Soroka, and Dorothy Willis.



Release Date: July 8, 2016

Catalog #: RR7937





Widmung  Robert Schumann’s / Franz Liszt


To Keep the Dark Away Judith Shatin

2 To Keep the Dark Away

3 A Glee Possesseth Me

4 An Actual Suffering Strengthens

5 The Auroral Light

6 Whose Spokes a Dizzy Music Makes


Romeo and Juliet, from Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 75

Sergei Prokofiev

7 The Street Awakens

8 Arrival of the Guests

9 The Young Juliet

10 The Montagues and The Capulets

11 Mercutio


Fantasy on St. Cecilia Judith Shatin

12 Her Struggle

13 Her Passion

14 Her Martyrdom


15  Ballade of the Flying Dutchman

Richard Wagner / Franz Liszt


16 Isoldes Liebestod Richard Wagner / Franz Liszt




The Postcard Sessions (RR7934)

Harrington/Loewen Duo





Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.

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