Concert Pianist - Researcher
'As part of the Royal Northern College, Maria Stratigou recorded these multiple short pieces with sincere conviction.'
Jean Lacroix - Crescendo Magazine
'I am very impressed with Maria Stratigou’s playing here. Technically she is absolutely on top of these etudes but she has the lyrical expertise to bring out the necessary lightness of touch and shading even in the most exacting moments; her delicacy in the figuration of op.26 no.10 is delicious. I hope she is the pianist who will continue this valuable and enjoyable series.'
Rob Challinor - MusicWebInternational
'A mammoth achievement, not only in terms of scope, but also in terms of the difficulties of these works, which demand the entire spectrum of pianistic competence. And even if not all pieces have the same degree of originality, this double CD is a treasure trove for all those who are looking for repertoire outside the well-known etude cycles.'
Frank Armbruster - Concerti.de
YouTube CD Review by Dave Hurwitz - Executive editor at ClassicsToday.com
'“Louise Farrenc, Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1 Etudes”, by Maria Stratigou, on the Grand Piano label. A discovery!'
Michel Dutriue - Stretto Magazine
'Stratigou, fervently involved in making women in music visible through recitals, articles and conferences, has dedicated her doctoral thesis to the repertoire presented here. The study of the interpretation guide that the composer herself published, together with the analysis of the manuscripts and all the editions (historical and modern) of these works, has allowed the pianist to perform an impeccable interpretation and in accordance with Farrenc's compositional discourse.'
Sakira Ventura - Ritmo.es
'Every one of these etudes is worthy of the concert hall. And especially as performed by Maria Stratigou. She has done a thorough study of these works. That deep understanding of what Farrenc was doing in these pieces has informed her playing. First and foremost, Stratigou concentrates on the musicality of the etudes. Melodies are beautifully phrased. And no matter how complex the music, it never sounds busy or cluttered. The technical is always subservient to the musical.'
Finding Beauty in Ephemera
'There was much to admire in this authoritative performance. There was a fine union between technical accomplishment and intellectual grasp of the structure. The playing was gripped with passion and conviction. There was a lovely, symphonic grandeur in the playing but she also found the poetic qualities of the second theme.' (Brahms Piano Concerto no.1)
Aaron Shorr - Fali Pavri
'This was very well-organised and projected with care for detail...The more calm variations produced some of her very best playing which was incredibly beautiful and poetic.' (Faure - Theme And Variations op.73)
'Stylish playing which showed a good understanding of the passion behind the music... Lovely contrast of colour and texture... There was fire and lyricism here which lifted the performance. She showed an understanding of the stylistic tradition of Mozart’s time (as far as we understand them!), but she also understood the spirit of the music. Beautiful sound and the complex textures were especially well managed! ... This was performed with spirit and a real sense of enjoyment. I almost forgot this was a competition.' (Mozart Piano Concerto KV466)
'So much of her heroic outlook came across in this very commanding performance. Her playing was authoritative, honest and completely up to the technical demands...A most memorable performance. This was a mature and very enjoyable performance.' (Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no.1)
Aaron Shorr - John Thwaites
'A performance on a very high level. A musically and physically taxing programme given a sustained and at all times musical commitment. Excellent range and flow of dynamics in all works....The Beethoven was so convincing that piano and pianist were forgotten and we were left with Beethoven the musician....Beautiful Chopin-‘fioritura’ of the highest technical and musical refinement with beautifully balanced accompaniment.' (Beethoven 32 Variations in c minor-Chopin Op.22-Prokofiev Toccata)