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The Duo Gazzana: It's The Trip That Counts

Violinist Natascia Gazzan and pianist Raffaella Gazzana

When traveling, some take the main routes - the safe, predictable, comforting roads. But others eschew the main routes, venturing off the beaten path. They're curious where the "roads less traveled" can lead them, and excited to share the discoveries most may not know about. This describes the Duo Gazzana, pathbeaters who say it's the trip that counts, not just the destination.

Duo Gazzana is made up of two sisters from Italy - violinist Natascia, and pianist Raffaella. Their first album, released in fall 2011, was a trek through the worlds of Takemitsu, Hindemith, Janacek and Silvestrov, forgoing the usual rest stops for areas unknown between mile markers for the early-20th and early-21st centuries.


The duo's newest release takes us farther into the hinterlands. And it's a nice ride, too, as long as the signposts don't scare you away. For instance, Alfred Schnittke. There's a name that sometimes causes the same kind of distress you feel on an unpaved back road full of potholes. Not this trip though. His Suite in the Old Style for violin and piano is like a freshly paved road, and the Duo Gazzana make it feel like you're riding in a Bentley.

Other stops along the way include Silvestrov's Homage à J. S. B., Poulenc's Sonata for violin and piano, Walton's Toccata, and Dallapiccola's Tartiana seconda.

And when you realize that the travel agent for the trip was the eclectic ECM record label and Manfred Eicher, well then, it all makes sense.

Go traveling off the beaten paths with the Duo Gazzana on Crossover with Jill Pasternak, Saturday at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore Friday evening at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.  Both airings are available on the All-Classical stream at wrti.org.