Gala Chistiakova and Diego Benocci in Viterbo A duo that plays as one with beauty and style.

Gala Chistiakova e Diego Benocci

Duo Degas in Viterbo as winners of the International Rome competition founded by Marcella Crudeli.
The indomitable Marcella at 82 had given a moving duo recital in Rome with her young protégée Emanuele Savron three times her younger.
All 21 Hungarian dances by Brahms and two repeated made for 24

Franz Liszt was strongly influenced by the music heard in his youth, particularly Hungarian folk music, with its unique gypsy scale rhythmic spontaneity and direct, seductive expression. These elements would eventually play a significant role in Liszt’s compositions. Although this prolific composer’s works are highly varied in style, a relatively large part of his output is nationalistic in character, the Hungarian Rhapsodies being an ideal example.
Composed in 1847 and dedicated to Count Laszlo Teleki Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 was first published as a piano solo in 1851 by Senff and Ricordi. Its immediate success and popularity on the concert stage led to an orchestrated version, arranged (together with five other rhapsodies) in 1857–1860 by the composer in collaboration with Franz Doppler and published by Schuberth in 1874–1875. In addition to the orchestral version, the composer arranged a piano duet version in 1874, published by Schuberth the following year.the version that was played today was of Richard Kleinmichel/Franz Bendel.

It was Gala Chistiakova and her partner on stage and in life Diego Benocci who chose two of the better known dances as an encore today.
It followed an extraordinary performance of Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody where Gala’s refined tones were complemented by Diego’s dynamic theatricality in a performance of scintillatingly stylish playing that seduced and excited all the senses.

In the 1760s, when Wolfgang & his sister Nannerl were touring Europe as child prodigies, the keyboard duet was a popular novelty item on their programs, one that offered a fuller range of sound from a single instrument while still allowing each performer the opportunity for individual display.
When the Mozart children were touring, though, they would most likely have been playing the harpsichord, since the hammered fortepiano (progenitor of the modern pianoforte) did not replace in popularity its string-plucking keyboard cousin until the following decade. While the Sonata in D major K. 381 was composed in 1772, the lack of dynamic markings in the manuscript probably indicates that it was still written for harpsichord, not the fortepiano.

From the opening work on the recital for Tuscia University season with the very first notes of Mozart’s much loved D major Sonata we were treated to a refined performance of elegance and rhythmic energy.Gala’s pure golden sounds in the Andante were matched by Diego’s sensitive accompaniment.
A sense of balance where they played as one such was the overall architectural shape so clearly moulded together.

Grieg’s incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s drama “Peer Gynt” contains some of his best-known compositions, such as “Morning mood” and “In the hall of the Mountain King”. Grieg later extracted the most beautiful pieces to form two orchestral suites and arranged himself these versions for piano solo and piano four-hands. Peer Gynt Suite no. 2 includes Solvejg’s Song op. 55,4. The decisive role that Norwegian folk music played for Edvard Grieg can be felt in almost all of his works. For his Norwegian Dances op. 35,Grieg took old folk tunes from a collection published by the musician and researcher Ludvig Mathias Lindeman and arranged them for piano four hands in 1880. Peer Gynt Suite no. 1 op. 46 Morning Mood op. 46,1
The Death of Ase op. 46,2
Anitra’s Dance op. 46,3
In the Hall of the Mountain King op. 46,4

There were moments of ravishing beauty as Grieg’s beautiful lyrical pieces unwound with such ease and natural charm.Solvejg’s song was allowed to pour from their sensitive fingers with a warmth that enveloped us all.Their encores of two Hungarian Dances by Brahms just underlined their elegance and style which had been the hallmark of such an enjoyable recital.

Il duo pianistico a 4 mani Gala Chistiakova e Diego Benocci si è formato nel 2014, quando i due pianisti si perfezionavano presso l’Accademia Pianistica Internazionale di Imola. 

Diego Benocci è nato a Grosseto, ha iniziato gli studi musicali presso l’Istituto Musicale della sua città con il M° Giuliano Schiano. Si è diplomato presso il Conservatorio “G. Frescobaldi” di Ferrara e ha concluso il corso di laurea presso il Conservatorio di Stato “L. Cherubini” di Firenze nella classe della Prof.ssa Maria Teresa Carunchio e l’Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” di Imola sotto la guida del M° Enrico Pace e del M° Igor Roma. Tiene regolarmente concerti in tutta Europa e in Asia come solista, musicista da camera e suona con orchestre in importanti festival. 

Gala Chistiakova è nata a Mosca in una famiglia di musicisti. Ha iniziato i suoi studi di pianoforte a 3 anni con sua madre Liubov Chistiakova. Dal 1993 al 2005 ha studiato alla Scuola Centrale del Conservatorio di Mosca intitolato a Pëtr Il’ič Čajkovskij con i professori Helena Khoven e Anatoly Ryabov. Nel 2014 Gala ha terminato il Conservatorio di Mosca e un corso post-laurea in una classe del professor Mikhail Voskresensky. Nel 2011 ha iniziato i suoi studi presso l’Accademia Pianistica Internazionale “Incontri col Maestro” (classe del Prof. Boris BorisPetrušanskij) in Italia. 

Vincitrice di oltre 30 concorsi internazionali, vive oggi con il marito Diego Benocci a Grosseto dove dirigono insieme il Festival Musicale Internazionale “Recondite Armonie” e il Progetto di Scambio Culturale “Giovani Musicisti del Mondo”. Nel 2022 sono stati nominati codirettori artistici e docenti del festival IMOC a Grosseto. Il duo ha un vasto repertorio e ha tenuto concerti in Russia, Italia, Francia, Portogallo, Germania, Regno Unito, per numerose stagioni musicali internazionali riscuotendo ovunque grande successo di pubblico e di critica. Nel 2021 in duo hanno vinto la borsa di studio all’Accademia Chigiana nella classe della prof.ssa Lilya Zilberstein. Hanno collaborato come duo con orchestre sinfoniche e da Camera e recentemente si sono esibiti al Conservatorio Čajkovskij di Mosca, alla Weston Recital Hall di Oxford, al Festival International de Musique de Chambre Est Ouest in Belgio, al Madeira Piano Festin Portogallo e in un concerto straordinario per G. Armani a Londra.

Il loro primo CD con musiche di Čajkovskij è stato pubblicato nel 2021 dall’etichetta italiana OnClassical e le loro registrazioni sono state trasmesse in più occasioni su Rai Radio 3. Di recente il duo è risultato vincitore del primo premio assoluto e del premio “Marche Musica” al XXXI Concorso Pianistico Internazionale “Roma”

In their festival in Grosseto ‘Recondite Armonie ‘ many young talents are generously given a platform


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