An engaging selection of music for piano 4 hands performed by husband and wife duo Emanuela Friscioni & Antonio Pompa-Baldi.
The album begins with Claude Debussy’s beloved "Petite Suite" and is followed by a delightful Suite by Luca Moscardi, an Italian compatriot of the duo. Samuel Barber's elegant "Souvenirs" ends the program.
“The innocence of childhood, the exuberance of youth, the carefree abandonment of the gilded age. It’s all here, in the three Suites featured on this album. Linked by a thread of melancholy, each work whispers sweet nothings in the listener’s ear.”
— Antonio Pompa-Baldi
“There is something so enchanting in the smile of melancholy. It is a ray of light in the darkness, a shade between sadness and despair, showing the possibility of consolation.”
— Leo Tolstoy, War and peace
“The bond between two players doesn’t get much deeper than the duo of Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni... [In Debussy’s Six épigraphes antiques] the composer explores isolated effects — echoes, sparkles, sighs, and more — made all the more intriguing with a second musician at the piano... Luca Moscardi’s Suite, Op. 13 [is] a piece written for the couple that plays to their expressive strengths.”
— Cleveland Classical
“They savored the interplay of solo lines, while clarifying the dialogue with their distinctive sounds: Pompa-Baldi played with a subtly staccato touch, while Friscioni’s touch was more meltingly lyrical..”
— Seen and Heard International
Suite Nothings - Music for Piano Four Hands by Debussy, Moscardi, Barber / Emanuela Friscioni & Antonio Pompa-Baldi • STNS 30226
Release Date: 12/01/2023
Recorded January 2022 at APB Studio, Cleveland, Ohio.
Producer: Jon Feidner
Engineers: Joshua Frey, Lauren Sclafani, Melody Nieun Hwang
Mixing and Mastering: Daniel Shores
Executive Producers: Eric Feidner, Jon Feidner
Art Direction: Jackie Fugere
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Project Coordinator: Renée Oakford
Piano Technician: John Veitch
Piano: Steinway Model D #607799 (New York)
About the Artists
Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni began playing together when they first met in 1996, in the Northern Italian town of Mezzago, during a workshop conducted by the great pianist Aldo Ciccolini. Since then, their musical partnership has grown steadily as an integral part of their relationship. The husband and wife duo has performed to great acclaim throughout the United States and Europe, in duet and two-piano recitals, as well as with orchestras such as the National Philharmonic of Ukraine-Lviv, among many. They have recorded works of Schumann and Rachmaninoff for the Centaur label, as well as several works for the Steinway Spirio catalogue.
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi first came to the U.S. in 1999 to participate in the Cleveland International Piano Competition. He won the First Prize, and, while fulfilling all the engagements that came with it, he and Emanuela decided to make Cleveland their home. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, as well as the Award for the Best Performance of a New Work. Antonio is a Steinway Artist. He serves as Distinguished Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he is also head of the piano department. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Todi International Music Masters, a summer festival in Italy featuring concerts and masterclasses. In addition, he serves as Vice Director for Education at the Lang Lang Art World organization in Hangzhou, China, and Artistic Advisor for the Lang Lang International Piano Foundation of New York, and sits on the juries of the most prestigious piano competitions. Alongside an active concert career, Pompa-Baldi is invited as guest professor for masterclasses around the world.
Emanuela Friscioni was born in Cantù, Italy. Since her debut at the age of nine, Emanuela has played solo recitals as well as concertos throughout Italy. After her recital debut at the prestigious “Carducci Society” in Como, music critic Maria Terraneo wrote: “Emanuela Friscioni’s depth reaches the true essence of expression and musical meaning”. Since then, Emanuela appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, France, and the US, performing both traditional and contemporary repertoire. Emanuela is Director of the Creative Arts Academy at Cuyahoga Community College, as well as the "Tri-C Piano Recital Series”. She is a Steinway Artist, and an inductee in the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame.
About Steinway & Sons label
The STEINWAY & SONS music label produces exceptional albums of solo piano music across all genres. The label — a division of STEINWAY & SONS, maker of the world’s finest pianos — is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.