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Respighi: The Birds; Three Botticelli Pictures; Suite in G major / Kyler Brown, organ; CO of New York

Album Summary

>Respighi, Ottorino : Serenata, for small orchestra, P. 54
>Respighi, Ottorino : Trittico botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) for orchestra, P. 151
>Respighi, Ottorino : Gli uccelli "The Birds"
>Respighi, Ottorino : Aria for Strings and Organ in g, P 32
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Two of Respighi's masterpieces are coupled with Salvatore Di Vittorio's restoration of the original version of the early Serenade for strings and organ heard here in its first recording.



Reviews

Masterful intepretations
Ottorino Respighi is known for his brilliant orchestrations -- but for most listeners, that knowledge is based on his Roman trilogy of tone poems. Salvatore Di Vittorio and the Chamber Orchestra of New York dig a little deeper into the composer's catalog. Their discoveries reaffirm Respighi's reputation, while providing an enjoyable listening experience.

The Suite in G for strings and organ is an early work, yet Respighi's genius for orchestration is already in place. This would be an excellent companion piece to Saint-Saen's Third Symphony, although Respighi's neo-classical work might sound a little understated in comparison.

The Seranata is a short, simple work that still manages to dazzle with its imaginative orchestration over the course of its five-minute playing time.

Gli uccelli (The Birds), like Respighi's more famous tone poems, show the composer's skill at painting with music. Respighi incorporates bird calls into the music, but in this performance their recognizable, but not overdone. Rather, the calls were fully integrated into the music presenting impressions -- rather than literal interpretations of -- the birds depicted in each movement.

The Trittico botticelliano is (in my opinion) the strongest work on the album. Maestro di Vittorio and his ensemble deliver a spirited performance of "Spring," the first movement. "The Adoration of the Magi," the middle movement is played with sensitivity and delicacy, and the finale, "The Birth of Venus" fairly shimmers in places.

The chamber orchestra is a group of young players, and sometimes that shows. Sometimes the strings lacked precision in more active passages, and there seemed to my ears to be some slight intonation problems in the Seranata. Still, they play with a very rich and warm sound, which is especially gorgeous in the slow movements. Performing these works with a chamber -- rather than full -- orchestra gives the music a feeling of transparency. It was a sound that seemed perfectly suited to these works.
Submitted on 06/02/14 by RGraves321 
Memorable Respighi
This disc opens with a Respighi rarity, the charming Serenata of 1904. Itís beautifully scored for winds and strings. One would be hard pressed to identify this as the work of this composer. Itís more redolent of the world of Wolf-Ferrari. Both Trittico botticelliano and Gli uccelli are generally well played and effectively paced. Occasionally, one misses the lightness of touch and precision of ensemble associated with conductors like Marriner or Dorati. The Suite for Strings and Organ, presented here in its original version, has its moments and is well served. Ardent Respighi collectors will welcome its inclusion in this thoughtful, generous program. Throughout the engineering is tight and well balanced. The liner notes are particularly enlightening.
Submitted on 06/10/14 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Respighi, Ottorino : Serenata, for small orchestra, P. 54
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Ensemble: Chamber Orchestra of New York
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (05/22/2013-05/24/2013)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Respighi, Ottorino : Trittico botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) for orchestra, P. 151
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (05/22/2013-05/24/2013)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1927

>Respighi, Ottorino : Gli uccelli "The Birds"
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Notes: Concerto Hall of Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Long Island, New York, USA (05/22/2013-05/24/2013)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1928

>Respighi, Ottorino : Aria for Strings and Organ in g, P 32
  • Performer: Kyler Brown (Organ)
  • Conductor: Salvatore Vittorio
  • Running Time: 21 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1905