"Messiaen's ineffable piano chords...seemed to emanate from somewhere beyond the piano."
-Portland Press Herald
You may purchase the album at Bull Moose in Portland or by emailing
My album Colour Is the Keyboard began with a search for new music for my trio, The Bayside Trio. One of the pieces we discovered was a vibrant piece by Cecilia McDowall called Not Just a Place. After a series of successful concerts, I decided to explore Cecilia's solo piano music and was delighted to immerse myself in her set of four pieces Colour Is the Keyboard. The evocative moods, the varied writing, and the pianism of the set really spoke to me, and the piece has truly resonated with audiences as well.
I began communicating with Cecilia about making the premiere recording of the whole set, and then I spoke with Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering Studios (and winner of 10 Grammy Awards). With Bob's input, I decided to make an album of some of the works closest to my heart: The McDowall pieces; pieces from Icons by living Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara; two of the Messiaen Regards sur l'enfant Jesus; the Janacek Sonata; and two Liszt pieces, Les jeux d'eau a la villa d'Este from the later part of his life, and his transcription of the Schubert song Auf dem Wasser zu singen.
All of these pieces have fascinating harmonies and textures, which blend together as colors. There is so much mystery and darkness in much of the music I chose, but also a wonderful lightness and transcendence. For me, they all truly capture an image, evoke a mood, or transport me to another place.
“Colour Is the Keyboard” is the perfect title for this diverse collection of works performed by Dr. Antonacos. She does a great job showing off the textures of these musical gems in the most delightful way. With the glorious Steinway D piano she can transport you from the shimmering fountains of the Villa d'Este in Italy where Liszt was a frequent guest of the Cardinal, to exploring the myriad bird calls composed by Messaien in his Premiere communion de la Vierge, to the huge basso depths of his La parole toute-puissante, Anastasia takes us on a journey with a beautiful program of pianistic colors. The Cecilia McDowall pieces are a real find."
"Anastasia has brought these four pieces to life in the most delightful way with her consummate pianistic skills. She drives the ragtime influenced Shades of Solace with vibrant energy, brings a delicacy of touch to Vespers in Venice, a wild Scottish flavour to Tapsalteerie and a broad range of pianistic nuance to Colour is the Keyboard. Superb playing, beautifully recorded."