Respighi: Il Tramonto

Respighi: Il Tramonto

by New Hellenic Quartet
     
 

Ottorino Respighi's fame rests on his orchestral music, particularly his flamboyant tone poems such as "The Pines of Rome" and "The Fountains of Rome," and his charming faux-renaissance sets of "Ancient Airs and Dances," but he also left a large body of chamber music, songs, and keyboard music, as well as nine completed operas and 11 ballets. On this BIS recording,… See more details below

Overview

Ottorino Respighi's fame rests on his orchestral music, particularly his flamboyant tone poems such as "The Pines of Rome" and "The Fountains of Rome," and his charming faux-renaissance sets of "Ancient Airs and Dances," but he also left a large body of chamber music, songs, and keyboard music, as well as nine completed operas and 11 ballets. On this BIS recording, the New Hellenic Quartet performs three of his works for string quartet, including one of his most popular non-orchestral pieces, "Il Tramonto" (The Sunset), a setting of a translation of a poem by Shelley, for mezzo-soprano and quartet. For listeners only familiar with the composer's extroverted orchestral music, the intimacy of the quartets will come as a revelation. Respighi's setting of Shelley's poem emphasizes its lyricism more than its romantic angst and is wonderfully effective in its understated evocation of the beauty of the natural world. The composer's control of the dramatic tension of the narrative through his use of modulation is particularly skillful, and his vocal writing is simple but sensuous; it's easy to see why this work has remained popular. The two other quartets are less compelling than "Il Tramonto." The 1909 "String Quartet in D minor" demonstrates the composer's familiarity with the Debussy and Ravel quartets, but its thematic material is less distinctive than theirs and Respighi's quartet is generally more pastel-hued and impressionistic. Written in a single 20-minute movement, the "Quartetto Dorico" (1926) is less successful because it lacks the thematic variety to sustain interest. The playing of the New Hellenic Quartet is clean and warm and shows a real affinity for this repertoire. Mezzo-soprano Stella Doufexis' voice is ethereal but secure, and her performance is entirely convincing. The sound quality of the recording is clear and present.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/27/2007
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590014547
catalogNumber:
1454

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Il tramonto (The Sunset), for voice & string quartet/string orchestra, P. 101  - Ottorino Respighi  - Percy Bysshe Shelley  - Robert Suff  - Stella Doufexis  - Roberto Ascoli
  2. String Quartet in D minor ("Ernst ist das Leben heiter ist die Kunst"), P. 91  - Ottorino Respighi  - Robert Suff
  3. String Quartet ("Quartetto dorico"), P. 144  - Ottorino Respighi  - Robert Suff

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