Jesus Christ Superstar came into being in 1970, written by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. It remains famous for the 1973 film version directed by Norman Jewison.
Stefano Bollani has reinterpreted on piano the original score for symphony orchestra, choir, rock band and solo voices. The title, in fact, specifies that they are piano variations, so it is not a transcription for piano but a free interpretation on a predetermined narrative structure.
Bollani has stripped away the musical and vocal systems – in fact, the lyrics of the songs are not included, with the exception of the penultimate track, “Superstar,” sung, almost recited, by the pianist – but he leaves almost unchanged the engaging melodies and some strong points, we could call them the pillars, as we can see, for example, in the famous “Heaven on Their Minds.” In this piece, in fact, we can hear the incisiveness of the bass ostinato in which the main theme develops, giving way to fantasy, changing the rhythms, the chords, inserting clusters of notes, or appoggiaturas, jazz notes, innovating as regards times and structures.