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Respighi's Rome / James Depreist, Oregon Symphony


Release Date: 05/29/2001 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3287   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  David Bamonte
Conductor:  James DePreist
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

James DePreist leads performances of Respighi's Roman Trilogy tone poems that emphasize their purely musical values. Already I can hear Respighi's detractors carping, "What musical values?" But surely enough time has passed that we enjoy these striking works for their innovative colors and construction and not merely as "spectacles". DePreist begins Fountains of Rome in an almost meditative fashion, articulating its Eastern timbres and making it sound very much like Rimsky-Korsakov (which is not surprising when you consider that Respighi studied with the Russian composer). The Oregon Symphony brass make wonderful sounds in the following flourishes, as do the strings, and a well-balanced organ fills out the sonic texture Read more in the furious Trevi Fountain at Midday section.

The opening of Pines of Rome is brightly lit, and DePreist's clear balances allow us to hear the piano's usually obscured contribution. Unfortunately, he fails to rise to the occasion for the concluding Pines of the Appian Way, hampered by soft-edged brass and tentative percussion. I don't understand why some conductors hold the reins in this music, because if there's any place to go all-out, it's here! After a slightly muted and static start, DePreist's Roman Festivals pulls together quite nicely as it progresses. Here the Oregon Symphony really comes into its own, with beautifully sonorous, virtuoso playing from every section. A good example is the October Festival, where the strings sweetly sing out the big tune, answered by the wonderfully blended, irony-tinged sound of the winds and percussion. The closing celebrations are quite boisterous, and normally would be satisfying--but compare this version to Bernstein's New York Philharmonic performance and you'll feel like you've wandered from a cocktail party to the middle of Mardi Gras, with a euphoria approaching delirium. (Bernstein's coupled Pines of Rome is just as much of a roof-raiser). Still, sonically Delos' recording is a marvel of present-day high-fidelity, and those wanting a sound spectacular (given the interpretive premise on offer) should be well pleased by this disc.

--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  James DePreist
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/2001 
Venue:  Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, Oregon 
Length: 17 Minutes 14 Secs. 
2.
Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  David Bamonte (Trumpet)
Conductor:  James DePreist
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1924; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/2001 
Venue:  Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, Oregon 
Length: 32 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Feste romane by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  James DePreist
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1987 
Venue:  Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, Oregon 
Length: 20 Minutes 34 Secs. 

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