Marco Rogliano / Maurizio Paciariello

Respighi: Opera Completa per Violino e Pianoforte

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This Tactus two-disc set features the complete works for violin and piano by Ottorino Respighi. Listeners are likely to be familiar with the Second Sonata -- written in 1916 and by far the most mature work on the program -- but the remainder of the pieces in the set are rarely if ever performed, with some of them still remaining unpublished. In this respect, this album serves the important purpose of allowing listeners the rare opportunity to hear these earlier works for violin and piano. The performances given by violinist Marco Rogliano and pianist Maurizio Paciariello, however, are far from stellar. Rogliano's approach to his instrument is almost ridiculously overstated and deliberately over-romanticized. His tone is forced, vibrato is extremely wide, and constant glissandos scar his playing throughout. Add to this an apparent disconnect between violin and piano and listeners are subjected to a largely unappealing performance throughout. Neither musician does much with Respighi's compositions musically to revitalize his youthful works or pronounce the grandeur of his later Second Sonata. Rather, Rogliano and Paciariello seem to each be off in their own worlds, plodding through the score. This album is recommended only for those who are truly interested in hearing these long-forgotten works for the first time, but is not suited for the casual listener.

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