Respighi, arguably one of the greatest orchestrators of the 20th century, composed extensively in nearly every genre of art music. Nevertheless, he is predominantly celebrated for a set of three orchestral works collectively known as the Roman Trilogy; among these, the Pines of Rome is certainly the composer's most played and easily recognizable work. Respighi did not originally set out to write a trilogy; the three colorful soundscapes were composed across the course of more than a decade. All three exemplify Respighi's deft hand at employing huge orchestral forces, his fondness for sounds of nature (hear the recorded bird song used in Pines), and his fascination with Baroque and medieval melodies. This BIS recording features the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) under Rio de Janeiro native John Neschling. The album includes a multichannel SACD layer that immediately sets it apart from many other recordings; listeners able to enjoy this track will appreciate the extra spaciousness and enveloping sound that serves Respighi's grand scores extremely well. The OSESP's performance is marked by equal measures of grandeur, precision, and detail, along with appropriate levels of pomp and zeal. Neschling carefully manages most aspects of his orchestra's playing, although some listeners may find the brass section to be overly loud and domineering. The strings and winds play with exceptionally good intonation and wonderful tone color variety that is too often obscured.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), symphonic poem|
|Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome), symphonic poem|
|Feste Romane (Roman Festivals), symphonic poem|