Grande Scherzo (based on the Finale of Act 1 from Così fan tutte)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
arranged for piano, four-hands by Anderson & Roe
Mozart’s operas undoubtedly contain some of his most astonishing music. Today, piano students around the world are constantly reminded to “play Mozart’s piano music as if it was a scene from an opera, filled with a host of dramatic characters."
As pianists ourselves, we wanted the opportunity to truly sink our fingers into Mozart’s glorious opera literature; thus, we composed a concert piece based on one of our favorite operatic scenes: the finale to Act I of Cosi fan tutte. The scene is at once humorous, dramatic, romantic, and scandalous as two men, in disguise, venture to test their fiancées faithfulness. Guglielmo, the lover of Fiordiligi, attempts to seduce her sister Dorabella while Ferrando, the lover of Dorabella, pursues Fiordiligi – a fiancée swapping of sorts. The women reject their advances, and the finale begins when the men burst into the room and poison themselves. Soon thereafter, a bogus doctor arrives whom, through use of a large magnet, is able to revive the scheming men. Conscious but hallucinating, they demand a kiss of the “goddesses” who stand before them. Although the sisters are tempted, they furiously refuse the men’s strong (and hilarious) advances.
Our ten-minute free arrangement captures the essence of the scene in a highly pianistic and Mozartean manner; we've reimagined the score as if Mozart had conceived it as a playful exchange between two pianists. Performed on one piano, Liz plays the roles of Fiordiligi, Dorabella, and Despina (the sisters’ maid and doctor-in-disguise), and Greg takes the roles of Guglielmo, Ferrando, and Don Alfonso (an old philosopher and friend of the men).
— Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe