Originally Published By: Classical Music Discoveries
How can something as intimate as a musical moment shared between two people open up the door to endless possibilities? Discover the answer in ART FOR TWO, a collection of works by acclaimed composer Arthur Gottschalk and performed by Italian woodwind extraordinaires Sauro Berti and Mario Ciaccio, accompanied by the skilled hands of pianist Naomi Fujiya. In each piece, the performers call listeners into the moment as they traverse art music inspired by sources from traditional Jewish hymns to Frank Zappa. The melodies of Berti and Ciaccio will carry listeners to some interesting and unexpected places. Italian bass clarinetist Sauro Berti has performed at major festivals from China to Mexico, and his command of the woodwind has earned him credit with the most notable orchestras in Italy and beyond. His counterpart, the award-winning saxophonist Mario Ciaccio, adds smooth flair — together, the two mesmerizingly work off of each other as the strains of their instruments sing together as one. In the first piece, Benny, Zoot, and Teddy, one can almost hear witty banter back and forth between the instruments. Two best friends strolling through a lively city scene as they converse immediately comes to mind. The album’s concluding piece, Shalom, also features the two instruments in conversation, but this time with a different message. They are joined by a full choir to deliver a final word: “shalom,” a Hebrew word meaning “peace.” This message, balanced with the exchange of the woodwinds, sends listeners on their way, enriched with having joined the musicians on this journey. In ART FOR TWO, each track brings listeners into a different shared conversation and experience. Enjoy the intimate dialogue between two musicians, and between the performer and you, the listener, as each song tells you a new, fascinating story.