TWOPIANOSPROJECT

MATTEO FOSSI - MARCO GAGGINI

Matteo Fossi and Marco Gaggini first met in Florence in 2004 when they were both attending Pier Narciso Masi’s class. During that most rewarding and fruitful experience (which was to be completed in 2008) Fossi and Gaggini discovered they were sharing the same vision about the role of piano music in our times. The logical consequence of such a feeling was setting up a piano duo.

In 2005 - and quite by chance - the two performers stumbled into the original transcription for two pianos of Johannes Brahms’ Fourth Symphony. As it sometimes happens with a book, a picture, or a piece of music, they immediately felt a special affection for the score, stepping into an amazing path made of study and research, of pauses and restarts. In a way, pretty much like after throwing a pebble into the previously still water one watches the waves spreading out in circles, they found more and more issues coming out, pushing them to look for similar pages, in a quest for meaning, history, and aesthetic value.

The first endeavor of the duo is “Twopianosproject”, with the mission of making the piano reach out far beyond the limits of its traditional repertoire, as it used to be all along the 19th and until the early 20th century. Fossi and Gaggini eagerly explore the field of autographic transcriptions, ending up with an acclaimed cd (2009, through Fenice Diffusione Musicale) featuring the two-piano versions of Brahms’ Fourth and First Symphonies (the latter being a premier World recording). A similar success would stem from a further recording (published by Universal Classic & Jazz) including the complete set of Brahms’ Symphonies, as testified by the following press reports:

 

«[...]This “project” was carefully planned by the two young performers, and it was realized showing a high professional skill and a genuine musical taste. These transcriptions pose mostly the same performing hurdles as their orchestral counterparts, but the duo overcame them in an excellent way». (Riccardo Risaliti, Musica, 2009)

 

«Two young pianists in a Brahmsian mission […] were able to match the rather linear density of score with the seriousness of the piano sound. The original, overwhelming orchestral tide is here changed into a lean demonstration of pure contents, where the emotions are fully preserved and unveiled through the power of logic». (Claudio Strinati, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, 2009).

 

«[...]A really sound, clear performance. Phrasing is mastered with noblesse. The Fourth’s Finale is beautifully rendered in all of its splendor and dramatic strength». (Luca Segalla, Musica, 2011)

 

The Brahmsian project was brought to completion in 2012 with the recording of a cd  (released through Decca) featuring the Sonata op.34/b, the Variations on a Theme by Haydn op.56/b and the Tragic Overture op. 81 in its four- hands piano version.

Fossi and Gaggini’s four hands piano repertoire widens to include a rare Shostakovitch’s own rendering of his 9th Symphony op.70 (in a premiere Italian public performance), together with some more famous transcriptions like Debussy’s La Mer.

In a commitment to give birth to a new project every year, 2013 becomes the right  time for Bartòk and Ligeti. With a 2-cd album released through Brilliant Classics, Fossi and Gaggini  present the complete works for two pianos of the two Hungarian composers, including challenging transcriptions (Bartòk’s Miraculous Mandarin and Suite Op.4) and original masterpieces like Bartòk’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion and Ligeti’s Three Pieces. In 2017 Brilliant Classics released two others projects with works for two pianos by Poulenc and Schoenberg.

Fossi and Gaggini live performances date back to 2007. The duo has been appearing in prominent Festivals and concert seasons in Italy, including Auditorium di Milano, Concerti del Quirinale (Rome, with live radio broadcast), W. Walton Foundation (Ischia), France (Paris), Austria (Wien, Arnold Schönberg Center), Poland (Warsaw) and South Korea (Seoul).