This trio of sumptuous orchestral travelogues would seem to be natural candidates for high-definition multi-track recording, but as of this writing it hasn't happened. Until then, we can be grateful to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand CD production for restoring to the catalog one of the best standard digital recordings of Pines, Fountains, and Festivals. Among discs providing all three symphonic poems, Riccardo Muti's 1984 Philadelphia production is at or near the top in all criteria: the performance is passionate and fully Italianate throughout, the orchestra has the special luster that comes with world-class ranking, the wind solos are the most ravishing on disc, and the sound is wide-ranging and natural. Readers should not let the sound'sRead more slight tendency to get splashy in the thickly-scored sections prevent enjoyment of this, the best all-around "Roman Trilogy" available.
For those who insist that sound be without reservations, Massimo Freccia's well-regarded 1968 account is superbly remastered on Chesky, and the Philharmonia Orchestra comes close to that elusive world-class quality. Tortelier (Chandos) has stunning sound and is about on a par with Muti, although his version just misses the latter's Italian flair. For top picks for the individual works, see the reference recordings, with this caveat: Avoid Maazel's Sony recordings of Respighi, and if Mata's Dorian stunner reappears, put it on your list.
Feste romaneby Ottorino Respighi Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1928; Rome, Italy Venue: Memorial Hall, Philadelphia Length: 23 Minutes 48 Secs.
Fountains of Romeby Ottorino Respighi Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1914-1916; Rome, Italy Venue: Memorial Hall, Philadelphia Length: 15 Minutes 19 Secs.
Pines of Romeby Ottorino Respighi Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1923-1924; Rome, Italy Venue: Memorial Hall, Philadelphia Length: 21 Minutes 59 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Philadelphia + Muti in 3 Respighi Tone Poems is DJanuary 4, 2013By BRIAN A. M. (Toronto, ON)See All My Reviews"As one listens to Muti and The Philadelphia in Respighi's 3 tone poems, one is overwhelmed by the over the top performance of this great orchestra in all sections especially the wood winds and... how Muti balances all sections of this orchestra for cohesive sound stage that in recording requires expertise in balancing. The music runs in the the very being of Muti. If Muti records this in 2013? in Chicago it may meet but not surpass the Philadelphia in execution."Report Abuse