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Respighi: Pines Of Rome, Fountains Of Rome, Roman Festivals / Caballe-Domenech

Respighi / Rpo / Caballe-domenech
Release Date: 08/09/2011 
Label:  Onyx   Catalog #: 4083   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Josep Caballé-Domenech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The works of Respighi’s "Roman Trilogy" are probably among the most spectacularly orchestrated compositions in the repertoire. The vivid colors and sounds of Imperial Rome are brought to life - from the violence in the Coliseum and the legions marching with grim determination along the Appian Way, to children playing around a fountain on a hot Roman summer’s day. Josep Caballé-Domenech, who studied with Jorma Panula, Sir Colin Davis and David Zinman, leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in glorious performances that bring out every nuance of these beloved masterpieces. - Onyx

"I have known the work of Josep Caballé–Domenech from both live radio broadcasts and records but this was the first time I
Read more had seen him at work. He delivered finely rehearsed performances which made musical sense and were satisfying...the RPO responded to him with some fine playing, especially in the Concerto where they did more than just accompany."

"Caballé–Domenech and the Royal Philharmonic were as one with Lill, working together to ensure that what is too often accepted as an old warhorse emerged as a fine young stallion. It’s performances as good as this which make concert going such a joy for me."

- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International, (General impressions of the conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech in live concerts.)
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Works on This Recording

Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Josep Caballé-Domenech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1924; Rome, Italy 
Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Josep Caballé-Domenech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; Rome, Italy 
Feste romane by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Josep Caballé-Domenech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Rome, Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The Organ Mix July 14, 2012 By T. DIMOCK (VENTURA, CA) See All My Reviews "Other reviews will dissect different aspects of this recording, but a few words about the organ. Casual listeners probably don’t realize these famous pieces include substantial parts for an organ. Some conductors omit it altogether (Bernstein/NYP/Sony, Neschling/Sao Paulo SO/BIS, Sinopoli/NYP/DG, etc.), thinking if the orchestra plays loudly enough no one will ever miss it. The organ can be omitted only in Fountains; it is mandatory in Pines and Festivals. Usually, however, it is just buried in the mix, even though the organ parts are written to be played just as loudly as the other instruments.

Well, “Be careful what you wish for…” Here, finally, is a recording in which the organ parts can really be heard and felt. I must have two dozen recordings of these pieces, but this is the first in which I can actually hear the organ keyboards as well as the pedals, including the 32-foot rank. Even the double pedal notes in all three works are clear and obvious, and this is how they should be heard. When you simultaneously play F-sharp and A (Fountains), G-sharp and B-flat (Pines), and C and E-flat (Festivals), you should hear a big rumble, and you do on this recording.

The orchestra plays very well and is recorded nicely. I truly enjoy each of these performances. My biggest complaint: the bird recording in “I pini del Gianicolo” is much too loud and in your face. Muti/EMI got it right.

It’s unfortunate that Vetrate di Chiesa (Church Windows) isn’t the third part of the Roman Trilogy instead of Festivals. It is much more similar in structure and tone to Pines and Fountains than the often bombastic, dissonant, and harsh Festivals.

This recording is now one of my favorites. Muti/EMI (the European mix and pressing; the original EMI USA recording had some sound anomalies), Maazel/Decca, and Marriner/Philips are also fine, especially for the Pines. Everyone loves the old Reiner/ CSO/RCA recording, and it is indeed excellent; but again, the organ becomes inaudible towards the end of “I pini della via Appia”.
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