Ottorino Respighi (1879 - 1936)

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Intergamer

Ottorino Respighi (1879 - 1936)

Post by Intergamer » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:15 pm

Respighi is now my favourite composer after Beethoven and I've heard a lot of classical music. :wink: I can't understand why Respighi has attracted so much adverse criticism. :? I think he's a seriously undervalued composer and the following works in my opinion are masterpieces:

The Roman trilogy

Three Botticelli Pictures

Concerto Gregoriano

Metamorphoseon

Brazilian Impressions

Toccata for piano and orchestra

Piano Concerto in A Minor

Concerto in modo misolidio for piano and orchestra

Adagio with variations for Cello and Orchestra

I would be very interested to know what others here think of his works :?:
Last edited by Intergamer on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Gary » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:41 pm

Welcome, Intergamer.

You may wish to read this recent thread.

http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... 60&start=0

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Post by DavidRoss » Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:28 am

Wow! Two different threads praising Respighi in the same year...what are the odds of that?

I still like the Botticelli Trittico and Ancient Airs and Dances.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Post by Intergamer » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:44 am

DavidRoss wrote:Wow! Two different threads praising Respighi in the same year...what are the odds of that?
Another thread about Respighi, now that's interesting. Perhaps Respighi's time will come, just like Mahler's has. The funny thing is I also don't care much for Stravinsky's music. I purchased the complete recordings of Stravinsky, listened to them all and then sold them on eBay. I find Stravinsky's music to be music without a soul. It doesn't connect to me emotionally in anyway, unlike Beethoven's music invariably does. I read that Stravinsky in old age regretted that he took so long to listen to Beethoven's music. He said that Beethoven's last string quartets were more modern than anything I ever wrote. Maybe if he had bothered to study Beethoven's music in his youth then his own music would have been better for it?

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Post by CharmNewton » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:51 am

Intergamer wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:Wow! Two different threads praising Respighi in the same year...what are the odds of that?
Another thread about Respighi, now that's interesting. Perhaps Respighi's time will come, just like Mahler's has. The funny thing is I also don't care much for Stravinsky's music. I purchased the complete recordings of Stravinsky, listened to them all and then sold them on eBay. I find Stravinsky's music to be music without a soul. It doesn't connect to me emotionally in anyway, unlike Beethoven's music invariably does. I read that Stravinsky in old age regretted that he took so long to listen to Beethoven's music. He said that Beethoven's last string quartets were more modern than anything I ever wrote. Maybe if he had bothered to study Beethoven's music in his youth then his own music would have been better for it?
Discussion of Stravinsky seems to bring out more emotion than the music itself, and perhaps there lies the problem.

I'm making it a point to find more recordings of Respighi's music. Had he lived longer, I'm sure he'd be better known today. He died at a time when making recordings was difficult for both producers and listeners. I'm hoping more of his music will interest first-rate performers.

John

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Post by Intergamer » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:00 pm

CharmNewton wrote:I'm making it a point to find more recordings of Respighi's music.
Good luck with that. There hasn't even been a full-scale biography written about him. One of his best works Belkis, Queen of Sheba is an exotic ballet (80 minutes in length) and yet only 4 extracts have ever been recorded (22 minutes).

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Post by burnitdown » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:53 pm

Respighi is great. He's not liked because of his modern style, which is less avantgarde than Debussy and less stormy than (say) Bruckner, giving it a slightly soundtracky feel. But the music is great. Very "Italian" in its forthright emotionality.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:20 pm

Too many people have problems with Respighi because he wasn't aligned with any contemporary musical movement. I love his works and as I've often posted here, his "The Birds" always brings a smile to my face.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:04 am

burnitdown wrote:Respighi is great. He's not liked because of his modern style, which is less avantgarde than Debussy and less stormy than (say) Bruckner, giving it a slightly soundtracky feel. But the music is great. Very "Italian" in its forthright emotionality.
I don't think of either Debussy OR Bruckner (stormy??!) when I listen to Respighi, who is correctly regarded as Italy's most important orchestral master.

A closer comparison would be with Richard Strauss----or Max Reger, whose fine orchestral variations (on themes of Hiller, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) remain underrated even today.

While Respighi has many incontestable masterpieces, his style is rather limited in expression compared with a Bartok, Hindemith or Stravinsky. Nonetheless, he made important contributions to ballet and the modern symphonic poem.

Jack
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Post by CharmNewton » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:14 pm

Jack Kelso wrote: I don't think of either Debussy OR Bruckner (stormy??!) when I listen to Respighi, who is correctly regarded as Italy's most important orchestral master.

Jack
I think you're referring to instrumental works here, but Puccini, Leoncavallo and Mascagni were extraordinary orchestral colorists. I think the Italians do not get their due.

John

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:19 am

CharmNewton wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote: I don't think of either Debussy OR Bruckner (stormy??!) when I listen to Respighi, who is correctly regarded as Italy's most important orchestral master.

Jack
I think you're referring to instrumental works here, but Puccini, Leoncavallo and Mascagni were extraordinary orchestral colorists. I think the Italians do not get their due.

John
Amen to that. The Teutonophiles and Slavophiles think the Germans and the Russians were the only composers that mattered in the 19th Century. Neither the Italians nor the French get their due.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:45 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
CharmNewton wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote: I don't think of either Debussy OR Bruckner (stormy??!) when I listen to Respighi, who is correctly regarded as Italy's most important orchestral master.

Jack
I think you're referring to instrumental works here, but Puccini, Leoncavallo and Mascagni were extraordinary orchestral colorists. I think the Italians do not get their due.

John
Amen to that. The Teutonophiles and Slavophiles think the Germans and the Russians were the only composers that mattered in the 19th Century. Neither the Italians nor the French get their due.
Certainly the symphonies of Gounod, Bizet, Lalo, Saint-Saens, D'Indy etc. could be performed more often, especially Gounod's 2nd and Lalo's in g minor.

But the Italian composers before Respighi didn't make such strong contributions to the symphonic literature as did the Austro-Germans, Czechs, Russians, English-Irish and Scandinavians. Even the Americans outdid the Italians back then (Chadwick, Griffes, Ives, etc.). :D

Tschüß,
Jack
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Post by soylentgreen » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:55 pm

While his pop 'Roman' highlights surface now and then in animation and his music did show up in some blackshirt propaganda films, I always like to daydream about what kind of impact Respighi would have had in actual film scoring.

I think, had his roughly 60 year 'lifetime' been moved slightly later in history, he would have been drawn towards the area of film composition.

I also believe that what his detractors like to point out(his somewhat showy bent)as a weakness, would actually have been an asset in field.

Maybe I'm a little off here, but when I listen certain segments of FOUNTAINS, for example, I can feel it easily fitting where Korngold is usually heard.

Either way, though, I agree with a sentiment voiced earlier...had his exposure lasted just a little further into the twentieth century, he would have the wide esteem he absolutely deserves.

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Post by Heck148 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:09 pm

soylentgreen wrote:I always like to daydream about what kind of impact Respighi would have had in actual film scoring.
his impact was very considerable in film scoring - just listen to the scores of the big 50s Biblical epics - "Ben Hur", "10 Commandments", "Quo Vadis", etc...straight out of Respighi
his colorful, descriptive style of composition was well-suited to the film format.

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Post by diegobueno » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:23 pm

CharmNewton wrote:
Intergamer wrote: Discussion of Stravinsky seems to bring out more emotion than the music itself, and perhaps there lies the problem.
Only for those who make it a problem.

(Oy, I can't believe we're going though this again!) C'mon, what's there to not love about Stravinsky???

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Post by CharmNewton » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:59 pm

diegobueno wrote:
CharmNewton wrote: Discussion of Stravinsky seems to bring out more emotion than the music itself, and perhaps there lies the problem.
Only for those who make it a problem.

(Oy, I can't believe we're going though this again!) C'mon, what's there to not love about Stravinsky???
LOL :) No, I certainly won't be going through this again, although I think there were lots of good points made in the other thread.

John

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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:02 am

Heck148 wrote:
soylentgreen wrote:I always like to daydream about what kind of impact Respighi would have had in actual film scoring.
his impact was very considerable in film scoring - just listen to the scores of the big 50s Biblical epics - "Ben Hur", "10 Commandments", "Quo Vadis", etc...straight out of Respighi
his colorful, descriptive style of composition was well-suited to the film format.
Now those biblical epic scores were usually composed by Miklos Rosza, a far cry from Respighi!

Jack
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Post by johnshade » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:08 pm

-
An orchestration by Respighi that has not been mentioned is his delightful arrangement of five of Rachmaninoff's Études-Tableaux piano pieces.
JS
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:18 pm

CharmNewton wrote:Discussion of Stravinsky seems to bring out more emotion than the music itself, and perhaps there lies the problem.
For some people, perhaps, John. At any event, if person A makes a sneering remark denigrating Stravinsky, and person B replies sharply, person A is in a position to observe the emotion of B's discussion, but never in any position to observe B's emotion on listening to Stravinsky.

Look, folks, you want to praise Respighi, I wish you all joy of him!

Do all us admirers of Stravinsky (and all of us who find Stravinsky's music emotional enough on its own terms) the favor and courtesy, when you vent your non-appreciation of Stravinsky, to leave it at "I don't connect to Stravinsky's music, somehow," and spare us the balderdash of "I guess his music doesn't have soul."

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:21 pm

CharmNewton wrote:I'm making it a point to find more recordings of Respighi's music. Had he lived longer, I'm sure he'd be better known today.
John, what are you talking about? Respighi is standard repertory. He is plenty well known.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:19 pm

karlhenning wrote:
CharmNewton wrote:I'm making it a point to find more recordings of Respighi's music. Had he lived longer, I'm sure he'd be better known today.
John, what are you talking about? Respighi is standard repertory. He is plenty well known.
For my money, it's not that he's not well known; it's that they never play his piano concerto or his songs on the radio, never mind in concerts.
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Intergamer

Post by Intergamer » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:57 pm

I think that's the best way to describe Stravinsky's music, as music that doesn't have a soul. His music is admired rather than loved and not listened to very often now. The Rite of Spring was novel at the time, but there's a great deal of superior music by others, which also has more heart.

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Post by piston » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:20 pm

Stravinsky is disarming, I must admit. I listened to The Flood, last night, and couldn't understand why a man of such talent (who can question that!) would compose a piece that was bound to leave his listeners as cold as buffalo carcasses on the Great Plains a century earlier. There is a point where innovation for the sake of innovation is ... uninspired.
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Post by Intergamer » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:43 pm

What are Respighi's operas like such as La Fiamma? Are they also worth listening to?

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Post by diegobueno » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:01 am

Intergamer wrote:I think that's the best way to describe Stravinsky's music, as music that doesn't have a soul. His music is admired rather than loved and not listened to very often now. The Rite of Spring was novel at the time, but there's a great deal of superior music by others, which also has more heart.
Pshaw!! Stravinsky is full of soul. Les Noces has soul oozing out its pores. The Rite of Spring certainly was novel at the time and now it's recognized everywhere as one of the towering masterpieces of the 20th century, and it's brilliant and exciting to listen to. It wasn't too far out for Walt Disney in 1940, for heaven's sake, and that was 67 years ago!!

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Post by burnitdown » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:28 am

Jack Kelso wrote:While Respighi has many incontestable masterpieces, his style is rather limited in expression compared with a Bartok, Hindemith or Stravinsky. Nonetheless, he made important contributions to ballet and the modern symphonic poem.
This could be an accusation leveled against Southern European composers in general: their mood is almost fixed, where the Germans storm and the Eurasians tend to wishy-wash around like their failing governments.

Intergamer

Post by Intergamer » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:11 am

piston wrote:Stravinsky is disarming, I must admit. I listened to The Flood, last night, and couldn't understand why a man of such talent (who can question that!) would compose a piece that was bound to leave his listeners as cold as buffalo carcasses on the Great Plains a century earlier. There is a point where innovation for the sake of innovation is ... uninspired.
That's very true. Stravinsky is respected as being an innovator, but what's the point if no one wants to listen.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:38 am

Intergamer wrote:
piston wrote:Stravinsky is disarming, I must admit. I listened to The Flood, last night, and couldn't understand why a man of such talent (who can question that!) would compose a piece that was bound to leave his listeners as cold as buffalo carcasses on the Great Plains a century earlier. There is a point where innovation for the sake of innovation is ... uninspired.
That's very true. Stravinsky is respected as being an innovator, but what's the point if no one wants to listen.
Before this Respighi thread mutates into an anti-Stravinsky festival, I'd like to point out that his three symphonies, ballets, concerti and other works contain the quintessential master. Hindemith considered the three most important contemporary (c.a. 1940) composers as "Bartok, Stravinsky and myself".

I saw "The Flood" on t.v. in the 1960's, with the old Master himself conducting it. It is not a masterpiece in my opinion, but every great composer produces a dud on occasion----and 20th century composers might just be somewhat more prone to doing so than earlier masters.

Jack
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Intergamer

Post by Intergamer » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:41 am

I don't mind Stravinsky's neo-classical opera The Rakes Progress. It has some wonderful moments but awful quarter hours.

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Post by johnQpublic » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:26 am

Intergamer wrote: Stravinsky is respected as being an innovator, but what's the point if no one wants to listen.
I love Respighi's Metamorphosen and his chamber music and I love the Rake's Progress.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Intergamer just say YOU don't listen to it. Don't fabricate a statement saying no one wants to listen to it. Such a statement can be disproven by doing a Google search for performances of any late Stravinsky piece.
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Post by diegobueno » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:56 am

Early and middle too.

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Post by GK » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:28 am

Today, February 21, is the anniversary date of the completion of his famous trilogy with the premier performance of "Roman Festivals".

QUIZ: Where was the premier performed and who conducted?











'roman

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:34 am

21 Feb 1929
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
Arturo Toscanini
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Post by GK » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:00 am

Yup!

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