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Respighi: Ancient Airs And Dances / Antal Dorati


Release Date: 05/12/1992 
Label:  Mercury Living Presence   Catalog #: 434304   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lustrously recorded in Vienna in 1958, this disc of Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances for Lute remains the benchmark, despite a host of more recent versions captured in modern digital sound. At the time it was released, this disc essentially had the field to itself, an almost unbelievable fact in today’s market. Dorati and his intrepid band of expatriate Hungarian musicians play all of this music with an earthy freshness and vitality that have not dated one bit, and the Mercury Living Presence engineering, despite some ambient noise that comes with the territory, offers an object lesson in natural balances and, well, “presence.” Even the harpsichord, the bane of so many recordings of this repertoire, sounds just lovely where it belongs, as Read more a subsidiary sonority enriching the ensemble.

It’s worth pointing out that there is a companion to this disc that you also ought to consider: Paul O’Dette’s Hyperion recording of all of the original music on which Respighi modeled his three suites. If you take the time to make the comparisons, you’ll be amazed at how respectfully Respighi has treated his material, very much as Stravinsky did in his Gallo/Pergolesi ballet Pulcinella. Respighi also chose his models shrewdly: the tunes are all marvelous. To whet your appetite, the two sound samples below offer both the original version of the exquisite balletto Laura soave, for baroque violin played by John Holloway, and Respighi’s sensitive arrangement for oboe and pizzicato strings. Whether you have the time or inclination for comparative listening (a great rainy day project) this Dorati recording remains a classic.

-- ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 1 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1958 
Venue:  Concert House, Vienna, Austria 
2.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 2 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1958 
Venue:  Concert House, Vienna, Austria 
3.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 3 by Ottorino Respighi
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1958 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.1: 1. Balletto detto "Il Conte Orlando"
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.1: 2. Gagliarda
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.1: 3. Villanella
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.1: 4. Passo mezzo e Mascherada
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.2: 1. Laura soave: balletto con gagliarda, saltarello e canario
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.2: 2. Danza rustica
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.2: 3. Campanae parisienses - Aria
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.2: 4. Bergamasca
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 1. Italiana
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (a) Andante cantabile
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (b) Allegretto
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (c) Vivace
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (d) Lento con grande espressione
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (e) Allegro vivace
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (f) Vivacissimo
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 2. Arie di corte: (g) Andante cantabile
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 3. Siciliana
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3: 4. Passacaglia

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