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Respighi: Violin Concerto, Suite For Strings, Aria / Marzadori, Di Vittorio

Album Summary

>Respighi, Ottorino : Aria, for strings, horn & organ (transcribed by Fuser for organ; by Arrigoni for piano & small orche
>Respighi, Ottorino : Concerto for Violin in A major, P. 49
>Respighi, Ottorino : Suite for strings, P. 41
>Respighi, Ottorino : Rossiniana, original music by Rossini arranged for orchestra, P. 148
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Respighi's unfinished First Violin Concerto in A major was revised and completed by composer/conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, who directed its première in 2010. Harking back to the masterful writing of Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, the Concerto also foreshadows the orchestral Technicolor of the great Italian composer's 'Roman Trilogy'. The lyrical Aria and graceful Suite embody Respighi's abiding love of Baroque music, while Rossiniana is a delightful reworking of Rossini's piano music, Les riens (Trifles), much enhanced by Respighi's contribution of new melodies and innovative orchestration.

"The most noteworthy piece on this disc of Respighi rarities and premiere recordings is the early Violin Concerto, revised and completed by conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio... Laura Marzadori plays the piece very well, with a nice balance of lyrical fulsomeness and virtuoso flashiness... For fans of the composer this disc is a must, and I also can see the opening Aria for strings getting a good bit of radio play. It’s a charmer." -ClassicsToday

"The best known work here is Rossiniana, dating from 1925 and an example of Respighi's postmodern flamboyance at its best. The disc's raison d'être, however, is Di Vittorio's performing version of the Violin Concerto in A...in essence, it's a big, late Romantic concerto, reminiscent of Brahms. Laura Marzadori does some nice things with it – the ornate slow movement is particularly refined" -The Guardian

"Salvatore di Vittorio, an enterprising scholar/ conductor, has completed Respighi’s Violin Concerto in A and conducts it here with the sinuous-toned young violinist Laura Marzadori tackling the solo part...The 1903 piece has lushly rhapsodic moments...The fillers are fun" -The Times

"the concerto inhabits a similar world of sound artfully allied to the dynamism familiar from violin concertos by Mendelssohn, Bruch and Brahms, together with the clarity of orchestration that Respighi inherited from Rimsky-Korsakov. Left unfinished in 1903, the concerto has been completed by Salvatore Di Vittorio, and its performance here is spirited." -The Daily Telegraph

"Most of this music is backward-looking pastiche...The exception is the unfinished Violin Concerto, a fascinating discovery brought to life by Di Vittorio who has done a magnificent job of realising and expanding upon the existing material. Laura Marzadori proves an eloquent and impassioned soloist in the Violin Concerto" -Classic FM

MusicWeb International
Taking the music on its own terms, the first movement has an engaging freshness, with carolling wind at the beginning sounding a little like Nielsen... The Suite for Strings is... agreeable... Di Vittorio's careful moulding of the slower movements may be admired, but a little more zip in the faster ones would not have done any harm... "Rossiniana"... has a creative vitality and a sound world that mark it out as wholly individual.

Limelight Magazine
given the rarity and attractiveness of the music, this disc is... worth pursuing.

American Record Guide
This is a splendid program of mostly rare items, beautifully played and very well recorded.

Fanfare
Thanks to the efforts of Di Vittorio, and the capable hands and sensitive voice of violinist Laura Marzadori, this romantically expressive score is brought to us complete for the first time. The current Naxos release, in addition to excellent performances and recording, offers to the Respighi fan a combination of never-before-heard music and works in never-before-heard transcriptions by Salvatore Di Vittorio. Strongly recommended.

Gramophone
It hardly constitutes a major find, though the slow movement does eventually blossom into something beautiful - try the Tranquillo episode beginning at 5'14". Laura Marzadori proves a big-hearted, assertive soloist...

San Francisco Classical Voice
... the 1903 concerto... features a lively, tuneful first movement followed by a subdued, romantic meditation. Di Vittorio wisely and idiomatically finishes the package with a 4+-minute finale from sketch fragments and motives from the first two movements. Laura Marzadori does a fine job with her unchallenging solo violin score... if you'd like some fresh Italian air, you oughta hear this Ottorino.

Infodad.com
Well over a century later, the violin appears in very different form in the 1903 concerto in A by Ottorino Respighi. The composer never finished this work - the version heard in its world premiFre on a new Naxos CD was revised and completed by conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, who is himself a composer. This concerto is largely composed with a look backwards, toward the concertos of Mendelssohn and other Romantic-era composers, although its emotional content seems more like the donning of an expected garment than a genuine expression of inner feelings. There is a fair degree of virtuosic display here - all of which Laura Marzadori handles quite well - but not so much plumbing of emotional depths. The work is most interesting for its coloristic handling of the orchestra: written two decades before the Roman Trilogy, it foreshadows some of the effects that Respighi would later use.

Also on this CD is another Respighi world premiFre recording: the Aria for Strings, transcribed by Di Vittorio. It is a short and graceful work of no great importance. The Suite for Strings, heard here in a Di Vittorio revision, is more substantial and more interesting, filled with grace and elegance that reflect the music and sensibilities of older times - which always fascinated Respighi, as shown most notably in his three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances. Indeed, this work somewhat resembles the third Ancient Airs and Dances suite, the only one written for strings rather than full orchestra. The fourth work on this CD is a suite of another sort: Rossiniana, which is less known and somewhat less ebullient than La boutique fantasque but carries much of the same verve in this nicely played performance. The CD as a whole offers a pleasant mixture of unknown Respighi works with one whose comparative familiarity helps put the others in perspective.

MusicWeb International
...the Violin Concerto, begun in 1903 and never completed, was well worth Salvatore di Vittorio's time in revising, completing and performing, and ours in listening. Two of the other works are also unfamiliar: the Aria and, in its revised form, again the work of Di Vittorio, the Suite for strings. Only Rossiniana, a delightful concoction of Rossini's 'sins of his old age', given the same treatment as the Ancient Airs and Dances for the Lute, La Boutique Fantasque and Gli Uccelli, though not quite in the same league, is at all familiar; everything here is attractive, though I thought that the Suite slightly outstayed its welcome.

Allmusic.com
Founded in 2006 by composer and conductor Salvatore di Vittorio, the New York Chamber Orchestra 'Ottorini Respighi' has among its goals the promotion of Respighi's works. This is a noble and worthwhile endeavor as many listeners are undoubtedly unfamiliar with the bulk of Respighi's vast output apart from the extremely popular Roman Trilogy. The orchestra is made up entirely of young professional musicians, a model found less frequently in the U.S. than abroad. Listening to this Naxos album, di Vittorio's orchestra sounds every bit as mature and seasoned as more veteran orchestras. The program features di Vittorio's own revised version of the Suite for strings, a work that can easily be counted among the great string serenades of Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Dvorßk. In the suite, the able-bodied chamber orchestra produces a wonderfully rich, velvety tone that ideally complements Respighi's melodious writing and expert scoring. The same appealing sound quality is achieved when the winds and brass join in for the Rossiniana Suite for orchestra.

Top billing on the program goes to the A major Violin Concerto, P. 49. This concerto went unfinished by Respighi, and is heard here in a completed and revised version by di Vittorio. Though the work is interesting, it is also the least successful on the album. Respighi's trademark lush orchestration and suave writing are absent here. What's more, violinist Laura Marzadori's playing of the solo part is sometimes strained and occasionally marred intonation difficulties. Still, the recording fills a gap in recordings of Respighi's oeuvre and is more than worthwhile for the Suite for strings alone.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Cen (2010-02-15_2010-02-16&2010-).



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Works Details

>Respighi, Ottorino : Aria, for strings, horn & organ (transcribed by Fuser for organ; by Arrigoni for piano & small orche
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (2010-02-15_2010-02-16&2010-)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Respighi, Ottorino : Concerto for Violin in A major, P. 49
  • Performer: Laura Marzadori (Violin)
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (2010-02-15_2010-02-16&2010-)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1903

>Respighi, Ottorino : Suite for strings, P. 41
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (2010-02-15_2010-02-16&2010-)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1902

>Respighi, Ottorino : Rossiniana, original music by Rossini arranged for orchestra, P. 148
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (2010-02-15_2010-02-16&2010-)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1925