Throughout his short life, Schubert wrote more music for piano duet than any other great composer. His unsurpassed achievements in this field include dances, marches, variation sets, overtures, fantasies, divertissements and sonatas.
Schubert wrote his greatest piano duets in the miraculously productive last year of his life as he continued his compositional experimentation. There is no doubt that Schubert’s duets place great demands on their performer’s sense of timbre, intelligence, speed of reaction and concern for detail.
All the works presented in this CD belong to the last year of the composer except the Sonata D 617 and the Three Marches D 733.
The Grand Sonata in B-flat major D 617 is the first of two sonatas for piano duet the composer wrote in his lifetime, the other is the famous Grand Duo of 1824.
This work probably dates from 1818 while Schubert was at Zseliz on the Esterházy estate, while teaching for the two countesses. It was one of a number of works for piano four-hands he composed while resident there. The work was published in 1823 as the composers Op.30 with a dedication to Count Ferdinand Palffy d’Erdöd, proprietor of the Theater an der Wien, Max Harrison speculates that the dedication may have been connected with the performances of Rosamunde that took place there in the same year.[…]
Franz Schubert: (b Vienna, 31 Jan 1797; d Vienna, 19 Nov 1828). Austrian composer. The only canonic Viennese composer native to Vienna, he made seminal contributions in the areas of orchestral music, chamber music, piano music and, most especially, the German lied. The richness and subtlety of his melodic and harmonic language, the originality of his accompaniments, his elevation of marginal genres and the enigmatic nature of his uneventful life have invited a wide range of readings of both man and music that remain among the most hotly debated in musical circles.
Ciammarughi, Luca (Pianist), studied Piano at the “G. Verdi” Conservatory of Milan and here graduated with top marks and honors with Paolo Bordoni. As piano soloist he has performed at the Festival dei Due Mondi of Spoleto, Mito Settembre Musica, Mantova Chamber Music Festival, Società dei Concerti of Milan, Salle Cortot of Paris, Amici del Loggione del Teatro alla Scala and many other institutions. He has been several times invited as a guest by Radio Tre Rai. For ten years he is everyday on the air on Radio Classica: his programme, “Il pianista”, has become a point of reference for the Italian educational panorama. Zecchini Editore edited his book “Da Benedetti Michelangeli alla Argerich” and the LIM of Lucca his monographic volume “Le ultime sonate di Schubert” and other essays about the Schubert’s lieder. He has composed the music for the short films Elsa’s kitchen and Anna e Marcel, projected in the Centre Pompidou of Paris.
Stefano Ligoratti (Pianist). He studied at the “G. Verdi” Conservatory of Milan. His Academic course was characterized by a certain musical versatility that led him to obtain many degrees. He graduated in Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Orchestral Conducting and Composition. He won several prizes in national and international competitions, including the prestigious European Piano Competition "Mario Fiorentini" of La Spezia (Italy, January 2010), where he won the first prize, the audience award and the prize for the youngest pianist. He is Artistic Director of the music network "ClassicaViva", and he performs with the homonymous orchestra, which he founded in 2005, often in the dual role of pianist and Conductor. Recently he is involved in musical dissemination, strongly believing that the historical period in which we live needs a wide operation of musical literacy. In this regard, in January 2019, together with the pianist and musicologist Luca Ciammarughi, he began a season of eight Concert Lessons (still in progress) at the Palazzina Liberty in Milan, under the name of "Non capisco! ... Son profano!”, Offering the public a historical and analytical verbal explanation of the various musical forms. As a pianist, he recorded CD’s for the labels: "ClassicaViva" ("Variations ... and beyond", published in 2007; "Fantasies", published in 2009; in duo with the Russian violinist Yulia Berinskaya: "Violin in Blue" published in 2010 and "Violin in White" published in 2012); "Limen" ("Sturm und Drang" published in 2018); “Da Vinci” (“F. Schubert: Works for Piano 4 hands” in duo with Luca Ciammarughi published in 2017), (“The voice of Violin” in the role of Conductor of “I musici di Parma Orchestra” and Yulia Berinskaya as a Violin Soloist), (Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello and Piano” Published in 2019 in duo with Matilda Colliard as Cellist). Also, he is finalizing the recording of complete works for Cello and Piano by G. Goltermann (for “Brilliant Classics” label) with the cellist Cosimo Carovani.