Ottorino Respighi

An Italian composer of orchestral works, vocal music, and operas who based his music on church modes and plainchant; known for his orchestral arrangements. Respighi's music may perhaps be best described as romantic-impressionist, because the melodies are extended and fully developed and the orchestral sound has the richness of an impressionist landscape. His two best-known (and probably his best) works are The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome. Less known but very rewarding to hear are the works in which he reset older music, such as the fine Ancient Airs and Dances (three sets, 1917, 1924, 1932), or those in which he used a rather poetic interpretation of ancient Greek and Gregorian modality, such as Concerto Gregoriano for Violin & Orchestra (1921) and the interesting Concerto in Modo Misolidio for Piano & Orchestra (1925). A fan of Pines and Fountains may also wish to check out Respighi's Roman Festivals, Brazilian Impressions, and Church Windows. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny

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