Ottorino Respighi (1879 - 1936)


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Donald Macleod begins his profile of one of Italy's most controversial composers with a portrait of Respighi's colourful and sometimes contradictory passions, including fine art, fairy tale, grand opera and antiquity.

Six Pieces for Violin and Piano No 1, Berceuse

Marcia Crayford (violin)

Diana Ambache (piano)

Semirama: Act 1, opening

Semirama....Eva Marton

Susiana....Veronika Kinces

Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus

Hungarian State Orchestra

Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)

Passo mezzo e mascherada (Antiche danze ed arie Suite I)

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

La Pentola Magica (excerpts)

BBC Philharmonic

Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

Trittico Botticelliano

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Sir Neville Marriner.

02In Perfect Unison20050705

Without the influence of his pupil, later his wife, Respighi might well have come off the rails.

Donald Macleod evaluates the impact of Elsa Respighi on her husband's music.

3 Preludes on Gregorian Melodies No 1

Sergei Babayan (piano)

Church Windows: The Matins of St Claire; St Michael the Archangel

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Jesús López-Cobos (conductor)

La Sera

Faridah Subrata (mezzo-soprano)

Czecho-Slovak Radio SO

Adriano (conductor)

Ballad of the Gnomes

The Philharmonia

Geoffrey Simon (conductor)

Poema Autunnale

Pierre Amoyal (violin)

Orchestre National de France

Charles Dutoit (conductor).

03Friends, Romans, Countrymen20050706

Donald Macleod charts Respighi's ever-complex relationships with his musical colleagues, critics, and the people of Rome whose city he depicted in his most famous works.

Belfagor: Overture

BBC Philharmonic

Sir Edward Downes (conductor)

Lamento d'Arianna (after Monteverdi)

Burjana Antonova (mezzo-soprano)

Sofia Chamber Orchestra

Emil Tabakov (conductor)

Feste Romane

Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra

Lorin Maazel (conductor)

Canzone Sarda

Tiziana Cisternino (soprano)

Massimo Palumbo (piano).

04On Tour20050707

Despite an awkward run-in with a ravenous press pack Respighi's trans-Atlantic tours did much to bolster his reputation.

Donald Macleod charts his travels and the music which they helped to inspire.

Concerto in Modo Misolidio: 3rd mvt

Geoffrey Tozer (piano)

BBC Philharmonic

Sir Edward Downes (conductor)

Maria: Egiziaca (excerpts)

Maria....Veronika Kincses

Voice of the Angel....Katalin Farkas

Hungarian Radio and Television Chorus

Hungarian State Orchestra

Lamberto Gardelli (conductor)

Brazilian Impressions: Tropical Night

Cincinnati SO

Jesús López-Cobos (conductor)

Passacaglia and Fugue (after Bach)

Leonard Slatkin (conductor).

05 LASTA Nightingale Sang20050708

Donald Macleod explores Respighi's final years, including a stroll amongst the pines of Rome as depicted by one of the composer's greatest musical legacies.

Belkis, Regina di Saba: Orgiastic Dance

Philharmonia Orchestra

Geoffrey Simon (conductor)

Il Tramonto

Magdalena Koená (soprano)

Henschel Quartet


Sergei Babayan (piano)

The Pines of Rome

NBC Symphony Orchestra

Arturo Toscanini (conductor)


Elsa Respighi (soprano)

Ottorino Respighi (piano).