"I was probably 4 or 5 when I first heard my mother humming this tune - she just returned from a busy day of rehearsals in the Moscow city. She was tired and was telling me a story from this mysterious country, represented by a melody, which was both sweet, exciting and full of incredible hope.
I remembered it instantly and sang it for myself for many years.
And this is my transcription of that melody, the extraordinary Leonard Bernstein's song 'Maria' that can convey both the ecstatic love and ringing hope. I am dedicating it to my mother Soreyya, whose love and strength can move mountains. "