R. STRAUSS. EIN HELDENLEBEN
On the piano, “Ein Heldenleben” is a highly powerful piece, which requires endurance, flexibility, some use of extended techniques, and a very subtle work with the pedals to ensure that the colors of the orchestral texture are preserved as much as possible. Thinking as a composer, Asiya approached this work having in mind that the author’s text should not be embellished for virtuosic purposes, but would have to incorporate some passages to make up a specific texture or sonority, which would be impossible to play on the piano with exact notes. As a result, in certain places listeners could hear some “reconstructed” orchestral textures and effects, that in the piano score are written much differently than in the orchestra score, but sound very similar.
The idea of a piano transcription of Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben” was an obsession of Asiya’s for a long time. However, it seemed to be impossible to deliver all colors, power and special effects of this music, using just a keyboard. So, for a long while, being truly in love with the piece, she tried different episodes of it on the piano for her own pleasure, not thinking it would develop into anything.
The situation changed drastically in 2014, when, inspired by Guido Agosti’s rendition of Stravinsky’s Firebird, Asiya started to write down a concert transcription of “Ein Heldenleben”.
Overall, the working process took about 4 months, with interruptions for completion of the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata transcription. Asiya continued to edit the piano part until the last moment before the premiere on December 6, 2014, which took place in University of Miami’s Gusman Hall in Coral Gables, Florida.