Between Cinzia Milani’s fine recent A Tribute Ida Presti and Candice Mowbray’s excellent Reverie album—not to mention some deep listening to my multi-disc L’Art de Alexandre Lagoya avec Ida Presti—I’ve been wrapped up in the glorious world of Presti and Lagoya (together and apart) for a a few months now. What a duo, and their career was, of course, cut short by Presti’s death in 1967. Even so, they set the modern standard for guitar duos.
Our first Pick of the Week for 2018 was written two years after Presti’s death by Swiss-born French composer Pierre Wissmer (1915–1992), a highly regarded and prolific writer of symphonies, concertos for various instruments, music for opera, voice, ballet, chamber music—and several pieces for guitar, including a concerto, a work for flute and guitar, and this piece written for two guitars, obviously in tribute to the Presti Lagoya Duo; a very interesting work.
Performing the piece is Italy’s Duo Fantasque: Alessandra Luisi and Giusi Marangi. Both earned advanced music degrees from the Conservatory “Nino Rota” in Monopoli (just south of Bari in Puglia, on the stunning Adriatic coast of southern Italy). They’ve played together since 2007, winning many prizes in competitions throughout Italy in the years since, as well as playing solo. I think you’ll agree they play beautifully. —Blair JacksonDuo Fantasque: Alessandra Luisi (L) and Giusi Marangi