DUO NUAGES – Piano Duet

The duo Nuages was born in 2010 on the occasion of the contemporary Music Exibition “Suoni Inauditi” held by “Pietro Mascagni” High Musical Formation Institute.

Cristina Donnini obtained a second level Academic Degree in piano, music and piano teaching methodology with highest honors. She specialized with the maestros Rossana Bottai, Alessandro Specchi, Daniel Rivera and Pier Narciso Masi; with the last one, she got a triennial master in chamber music with top marks at the piano Academy “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola. Beyond being the piano player partner for Maestro Danilo Rossi (the principal viola at the Scala Theater in Milan), she publishes theater and music didactics books (among them, the book “Il pianoforte a quattro mani: storia e didattica” printed by EurArte publishing-house). She is a piano teacher at the middle school, specializing in music.

Scilla Lenzi obtained a second level Academic Degree in piano, music and piano teaching methodology with highest honors. She specialized with maestros Andor Foldes, Muriel Chemin, Paolo Bordoni, Daniel Rivera and Paul Badura-Skoda, with whom she studied at the Chigiana Musical Academy in Siena. She recorded a recital for “La Stanza della Musica” of Radio Rai Tre Suites and she took part as pianist in the Rai Uno broadcast “Il porto del cuore”. In 2004 she accompanied on the piano in concert the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli. She recorded for Kicco Classic record label. She is a piano teacher at the middle school, specializing in music.

The two pianists, after an intense artistic background and a series of recitals, both as soloists and in chamber ensembles, decided to share their experience and musical expression, thanks also to the common taste for an eclectic and experimental research.

Through the elaboration of compositions for piano duet, the duo tackles a vast repertoire that ranges from Mozart to Piazzolla, passing through the big romantic and the less famous twentieth-century’s authors.

The duo dedicated also to the study of the repertory for forte-piano and plays on the branded table forte-piano: “John Broadwood & Sons/Makers to his Majesty…Great Pultney Street … London” of 1825.

One of the peculiarities of the duo is to execute performances where music combines with other languages such as dance (Astor Piazzolla’s music in company with argentine tango dancers; Claude Debussy and Ottorino Respighi’s music with renaissance court dances); recitations (telling classic fables of Perrault, Hoffmann, Ibsen, Afanas’ev, and modern fables such as SergeJ Prokof’ev’s “Pierino e il lupo”  and Teresa Procaccini’s “Il bambino di plastica”), and other graphic-visive expressions (recitals on Charlie Chaplin’s shorts for Darius Milhaud’s “Le boeuf sur le toit”; André Hellé’s drawings for Claude Debussy’s “La boite à joujoux”).

The Nuages Duo aroused the interest of some Italian composers who dedicated them some pieces, paraphrases and projects tied to contemporary musical research: Maestro Claudio Vaira’s project “E’ sera ormai. Tra i fiori si spengono rintocchi di campana”  of Matsuo Basho, entirely dedicated to the music inspirited from bell’s sonorities (of which a discographical recording is to be scheduled); Maestro Fabio De Sanctis De Benedictis’s “Mon piano l’Oye”, that arises from Ravel’s famous “Ma mère l’Oye”.

The Duo Nuages has held numerous recitals for prestigious associations and concert season such as: “Douce France 2011” at the Huigens Palace in Livorno; the classical review “Amici della Musica”  at the Municipal Theater in Pistoia; the concert season at “Vittorio Veneto” Navy Officer Club in La Spezia and in the Poggio Imperiale Villa in Florence; the Nations’ Musical Festival “Musica sotto il cielo stellato”- Tempietto concerts in the Casina delle Civette of Villa Torlonia and at the Marcello’s Theater in Rome; the Armed Forces Officer Club’s concert season at Barberini Palace in Rome; Piano City Milano.

On the occasion of Concerti della Domenica 2012  at Pietro Mascagni Institute, during the review’s opening recital, dedicated to Darius Milhaud, the Duo played Le boeuf sur le toit, before the composer’s son, who is a famous contemporary painter that expressed his own enthusiasm towards the two pianists.

The Duo recordered the CD Ritmi dal Sud America (PPG Editions, 2016), the CD Finchè non sarà mattina (Map Classic, 2017) and the CD Fluendo (Da Vinci Editions, 2021).

The name “Nuages” is inspired to the first of the Three Nocturnes of Claude Debussy who wrote the following introductive note to this orchestral work: “Nuages” shows the sky’s unchanged appearance and the slow, impressive clouds’ motion, disappearing in shaded grey tones, lightly tinged with white.

The choice of the name has a dual reason: the two pianists’ common love towards the great composer Claude Debussy’s music and the Duo’s expressive affinity to clouds’ ineffable essence and continuous becoming.