I am so pleased to post this response from Ani Kavafian, one of the leading violinists of our day, Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Professor of Violin at Yale.
“Susan Kander’s cycle for violin and piano, Hermestanze, is a wonderful work on many levels. The 14 short movement titles takes one through the life of Hermes, naming his parents, Zeus and Maia. the Lyre, an instrument folklore claims he invented, the river Styx, as well as his brother Apollo, the god of music. These references give the listener Ms. Kander’s perception of a musical journey through a part of Greek Mythology, but more importantly, we become aware of her virtuosic compositional ability to use the range and abilities of the violin and piano. As Hermes was a many faceted character, Ms. Kander uses this work to explore a variety of instrumental sounds (most especially striking in the Lyre movement). Throughout the 30 minute work, my interest never wavered. There is a vital energy to the writing and as each movement came to a close, I looked forward to hearing the next.”
Thank you, Ani!