Respighi: Pini di Roma


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Boston Symphony Orchestra;
Seiji Ozawa

This repertoire is exceptionally well represented in the catalogue, but here is the first record and tape (for there is virtually no sonic difference between them) to provide entirely successful recordings of all three of the symphonic poems inspired by Respighi’s home city. In the central movements of the Pines Ozawa does not quite match the electrifying tension of the Maazel/Berlin Philharmonic recording dating from the earliest days of stereo (DG Heliodor 2548 267, 7177) nor does he excel Karajan here, where again the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic is quite magical (DG 2531 055, 11/78). But the difference is marginal: Ozawa is still superbly atmospheric and his nightingale in „The Pines of the Janiculum“ is most delicately balanced. At the point before the marching Roman legions of the last section the orchestral pianissimo has a sinister evocation and the climax is overwhelmingly powerful, the pacing merciless in its slow juggernaut momentum. Roman Festivals is no less enjoyable, the recording’s depth of perspective immediately earcatching in the brass fanfares near the opening. Again it is Ozawa’s feeling for atmosphere that tells and there is no suggestion at all of crude picture-postcard imagery. In the finale („The night before Epiphany“) with its kaleidoscopic effects (the clamour of the street scene highlighted with snatches of music from the local organ grinder) there is not quite the stereoscopic vividness of detail of Maazel’s Decca recording with the Cleveland Orchestra (SXL6822, 11177) but the sound picture is demonstration-worthy by any possible standards and Ozawa’s sympathy for the score overall brings the conviction that it is a masterpiece to match its companions. About the Fountains of Rome I can be unequivocal. This is the most impressive recorded performance since Reiner’s RCA version dating from the earliest days of stereo (VICS1565, 2/71) and currently out of the UK catalogue. Moreover besides being the equal of that fine version this new one has the advantage of really first class sound. The watery transluscence at the turning on of the Triton fountain is matched by the spectacle of the Triton climax (here, curiously, a touch of harshness creeps into the recording, but it is not serious) and the closing section picturing the fountain of the Villa Medici is sustained by ravishingly beautiful orchestral playing and a marvellous feeling of stillness. Ivan March, Gramophone

2 Responses to "Respighi: Pini di Roma"
  1. Idem o mesiac do Rima pozriet, ci ten Respighi tie rimske pinie a fontany dobre vystihol. 🙂 Toto pocuvam v ramci pripravy na cestu.

  2. Už zajtra a pozajtra (6. a 7. 10) Rímske fontány v Slovenskej filharmónii. Ako predskokan tiež zaujímavý Aaron Copland –
    Pokojné mesto / Quiet City

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