Orchestre philharmonique royal de Liège; Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo; Antonacci, Anna Caterina; Neschling, John
This 7-SACD collection includes recordings made by Brazilian-born conductor John Neschling of the orchestral works of Ottorino Respighi, alongside Puccini the best-known Italian composer of the first half of the twentieth century. Widely praised by the press, including BBC Music Magazine, which described them as ‘the finest-ever survey of the composer’s orchestral output undertaken by a single conductor’, these recordings reveal Respighi’s extraordinary range. His transcriptions of works from the baroque period bear witness to his great musical refinement and are an example of the way in which people dared to adapt to current tastes at the beginning of the 20th century. His original compositions, whether symphonic poems, ballets or symphonic works, often call for a large orchestra, sometimes with the addition of numerous percussion instruments, piano, organ and even, in Pines of Rome, a phonograph, present a synthesis of the musical traditions of his native Italy and contemporary romantic, impressionist and neo-classical trends while remaining resolutely closed to modernist developments and atonality. Respighi’s lavish sound palette and the spirit that fills his scores were to find an echo in Hollywood film music, and John Williams considers him to be one of his most important influences.