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Respighi: Complete Orchestral Music Vol 4 / La Vecchia, Rome Symphony Orchestra

Respighi / Orchestra Sinfonia Di Roma / Vecchia
Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94395   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Desiree Scuccuglia
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Brilliant Classics' survey of Respighi's complete orchestral music continues here, with a release that explores the Italian composer's modernising of the past (as previously evidenced in works such as Gli uccelli, see volume 1) as well as two of his most mature creations, written in the last eleven years of his life. Starting with the Antiche danze e arie per liuto, three suites in which Respighi balances antiquated forms against modern instrumentation such as the celesta, we move on to Rossiniana, a charming suite derived from Rossini's piano piece Les riens and with a particularly affecting second movement (Lamento). Next follows the Concerto in modo misolidio of 1925, a work for piano and orchestra whose main theme is based on Gregorian Read more chant and with a vigorous Passacaglia of a finale; completing the compilation is the affective Metamorphoseon modi XII, also pervaded by freely plainsong-like themes.

As ever, Respighi's imaginative use of timbre and first-class orchestration permeate these engaging works, which are skilfully interpreted by an all-Italian cast. About the first volume in the series, allmusic.com wrote: 'The Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma under Francesco La Vecchia certainly plays very well, with the brass fully on top of the numerous passages in which they are mercilessly exposed.'

Other information:
- Recorded 2009, 2011 & 2012, Auditorium Conciliazione, Rome. - This 4th instalment of the Complete Orchestral Works of Ottorino Respighi contains some of his most popular works: the Ancient Airs and Dances, and the Rossiniana.
- Respighi wrote his Ancient Aires and Dances on the basis of Renaissance and Baroque dances, either of folk music origin (author unknown), or lute pieces by Italian composers, Molinari, Galilei, Caroso, Roncalli. The rich, brilliant and colourful orchestration by Respighi adds a new dimension, enhancing the joyful or melancholy character of these relatively uncomplicated pieces.
- The Concerto Misolidio is a serious large scale Piano Concerto, full of drama and pathos, based on Gregorian Chant (the perfect music for a Dan Brown novel!).
- The Respighi series by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, conducted by maestro Francesco la Vecchia received uniform critical acclaim, 4 and 5 star reviews and praise for the power and transparency of the performances.
- Contains extensive notes on the music.

R E V I E W: 3742680.az_RESPIGHI_Ancient_Dances_Airs.html

RESPIGHI Ancient Dances and Airs Suites Nos. 1–3. Rossiniana. Concerto in the Mixolydian Mode1. Metamorphoseon Francesco La Vecchia, cond; Rome SO; 1 Désirée Scuccuglia (pn) BRILLIANT 94395 (2 CDs:153: 27)


This is the fourth volume of what I assume will be a complete or nearly-complete collection of Ottorino Respighi’s orchestral music. I have considerable enthusiasm for most of the music on this two-disc set. The exception is the Concerto in the Mixolydian Mode for piano and orchestra. Try though I did, I was as unenthusiastic after three hearings as after the first. No doubt there is some organizing principle at work here but, for me, the piece just rambled on and on. It bears a vague resemblance to the kind of pseudo-concertos movie composers turned out but it’s much longer and Bernard Herrmann (Hangover Square), Miklos Rozsa (Spellbound), Leith Stevens (Night Song), and Richard Addinsell (Dangerous Moonlight/Suicide Squadron) did it better.


Metamorphoseon was commissioned for the 50th season of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Serge Koussvitsky had conducted the world premiere of Church Windows in 1927 and, for the 50th season, Respighi gave him what is, basically, a concerto for orchestra in the shape of a theme (actually two) and variations which is a great showpiece for a virtuoso group. With the (New) Philharmonia Orchestra at his disposal, that is the way Geoffrey Simon treats the piece: The emphasis is on “concerto for orchestra.” Francesco La Vecchia, on the other hand, offers a curiously sober, slower (by 10 minutes!) account of the piece, treating it as a straight theme and variations. This is in keeping with the way he conducted the pieces that make up the Roman trilogy—he seems to disdain “effects” and wants to treat the pieces as “serious” music. I think he missed the point both here and there but, in its measured, less flashy way, the performance does work.


I have no reservations about the Ancient Dances and Airs and Rossiniana, delightful pieces which demonstrate Respighi’s imagination and taste as an arranger/orchestrator. In the Suite No. 1, La Vecchia himself does a minor piece of rearranging. Although these are not my favorite performances (which are Doráti on the Ancient Dances and Airs and Ansermet on the Rossiniana), they are perfectly respectable ones and well-recorded. Are you curious about Respighi’s sources for the Ancient Dances and Airs? So was the lutenist Paul O’Dette, who not only tracked them down but also recorded them on the instrument for which they were intended. His CD is called Ancient Airs and Dances and it’s on the Helios label. It is not only pleasant listening in its own right—it indirectly exalts Respighi as well as his “ancient” predecessors.


FANFARE: James Miller
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rossiniana by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Rome, Italy 
2.
Metamorphoseon Modi XII by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1930; Rome, Italy 
3.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 3 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Rome, Italy 
4.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 2 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Rome, Italy 
5.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 1 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Rome, Italy 
6.
Concerto in modo misolidio by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Desiree Scuccuglia (Piano)
Conductor:  Francesco La Vecchia
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Rome, Italy 

Sound Samples

Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 1, P. 109: I. Balletto detto Il Conte Orlando
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 1, P. 109: II. Gagliarda
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 1, P. 109: III. Villanella
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 1, P. 109: IV. Passo mezzo e Mascherada
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 2, P. 138: I. Laura soave - Balletto con Gagliarda, Saltarello e Canario
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 2, P. 138: II. Danza Rustica
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 2, P. 138: III. Campanae Parisienses - Aria
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 2, P. 138: IV. Bergamasca
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 3, P. 172: I. Italiana
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 3, P. 172: II. Arie di Corte
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 3, P. 172: III. Siciliana
Antiche danze ed arie per liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances), Suite No. 3, P. 172: IV. Passacaglia
Rossiniana, P. 148: I. Capri e Taormina
Rossiniana, P. 148: II. Lamento
Rossiniana, P. 148: III. Intermezzo
Rossiniana, P. 148: IV. Tarantella, "Puro Sangue"
Concerto in modo misolidio, P. 145: I. Moderato
Concerto in modo misolidio, P. 145: II. Lento
Concerto in modo misolidio, P. 145: III. Passacaglia: Allegro energico
Metamorphoseon modi XII, P. 169

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