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Duo Reminiscence

Juliette Giovacchini, Violoncello | Dominika Maszczynska, Fortepiano

In summer 2019, Dominika Maszczynska and Juliette Giovacchini formed Duo Reminiscence at the Royal College of Music London (RCM) out of a common passion for historical performance and chamber music-making. Having a fascination for the chamber music of Beethoven and his contemporaries, Dominika and Juliette have explored repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries for cello and fortepiano. Their latest performances have featured Beethoven's cello sonatas in celebration of the composer's anniversary in 2020.

Dominika Maszczynska studied fortepiano with Katarzyna Drogosz and harpsichord with Marcin Świątkiewicz in Katowice, fortepiano with Geoffrey Govier and harpsichord with Julian Perkins and Terence Charlston at the RCM. Previously supported by the Charles Colt Scholarship, Dominika has been awarded with the Fellowship in Historical Keyboards at the RCM for 2020/2021. She has performed as both, a soloist and continuo player with RCM Baroque Orchestra, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Zabrze Philharmonic and was a semifinalist of the prestigious Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges in 2019.

Since graduating from the RCM with distinction in both modern and historical cello (with Richard Tunnicliffe), Juliette Giovacchini has directed her career towards chamber music and orchestral performance. As a member of ensembles including the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester she has appeared in prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Musikverein Vienna, and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 2020, she performed the Brandenburg Concertos with the RCM Baroque Orchestra and appeared in chamber music performances at Buckingham Palace.

 

What was the trigger that brought you to playing with historical instruments?
Trying to imagine and get close to the type of sound composers had in mind when writing a piece, and also having access to a bigger range of colors in the sound/articulation. It makes the learning process even more endless and to us it is a great feeling to be constantly wondering and searching.

Was there something surprising while working on your competition repertoire?
We were constantly wondering if our style and articulation were accurate, if we were historically informed enough. While reading Beethoven's conversations book (a book gathering his written conversations with other people when he became deaf), one of his friends told him that she went to listen to the concert of a violinist playing the spring sonata. She was upset and described the performance as being stylistically wrong. We thought it was funny... how could someone living during Beethoven's period of time be stylistically wrong? We have always thought musicians who have been living at that time were lucky because they wouldn't need to worry about many interpretation wonders we have to go through nowadays. But now we think differently.

How did your preparation as ensemble work out in the Covid year?
It was quite challenging. We were not allowed to be in the same room to rehearse until recently so we had to find ways to work on our pieces before the rules start to ease in UK. We were discussing the pieces over the phone, sending recording of us playing individually so the other one could understand the musical ideas.

Do you have got a favourite piece in your repertoire? And if so, which one and why?
Beethoven sonatas were among the first pieces that we played together as an ensemble so the idea of taking part in the Beethoven competition seemed really exciting from the very beginning. We now think that preparing for the competition was a great opportunity for us to broaden our repertoire.