Respighi: Church Windows - Brazilian Impressions - Roman Festivals
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra & Jesús López-Cobos
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The Best "Church Windows" Out There
This was my first exposure to the four-movement tone poem "Church Windows," and López-Cobos's interpretation is still at the top, from the recordings I've heard. He's the only one who understands the importance and raw, naked power of the French Horn ostinato figure at the end. No other recording of this work gets it right. His lightning tempos in "Roman Festivals" should also not be missed. The ending is a whirlwind. I prefer the version of "Brazilian Impressions" on Geoffrey Simon's CD. If you can get a download of Simon's BI, and López-Cobos's CW and RF, you'll be better off. I just wish the level of technical recording on this CD was better. There is somewhat of a lacking in the treble, as if the sound is a bit muted. This, however, is a minor complaint, especially considering the wonderful interpretation of two out of three of the works on this recording.
Very good Church Windows, Excellent Roman Festivals
The Church Windows piece is very good. However the finale to Saint Gregory goes a little overboard, and actually loses power and momentum in the process. Roman Festivals is excellent. Fantastic brass playing. Superb Telarc sound throughout the CD. May be the very best sound quality one can achieve. Great "demo" tracks for a good stereo.
A Perfect Use of the iTunes Store for Classical Music Lovers
Although his Fascist connections still bother me, I do love Respighi's music, which reminds me of French impressionism on speed and steroids. Although he is no Debussy or Ravel, Respighi carved himself out an amusing and remunerative niche with his tone poems centered on a single theme. Most Respighi fans have all of these pieces in numerous collections. I happen to lack Church Window, so, imitating what so many pop collectors who buy singles have done, I just bought the four tracks I really needed. I was pleased that the expected Available In Album Only roadblock was missing.
Formed: 1895 in Cincinnati, OH
Years Active: '/0s, '00s, '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s