This release gathers together – under the perceptive and sympathetic musicianship of Ernest Ansermet – a selection of music by (and refashioned by) Ottorino Respighi with a very high quotient of colour, atmosphere, rhythmic vitality and touching lyricism. ‘The Fountains of Rome’ and ‘The Pines of Rome’ are two-thirds of the composer’s Roman Trilogy (the third part, composed last, being ‘Feste Romane’ – Roman Festivals – which Ansermet did not record) and which celebrate in music the glories and history of the city of Rome. ‘La Boutique Fantasque’ (The Fantastic Toyshop) is one of many ballet scores composed for the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev.
The release of the 1963 recording of the Respighi tone poems was widely praised for its superlative sound. And the very fine recording of ‘La boutique fantasque’ was made not in Geneva, for once but at Kingsway Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra. It is much sought-after and has become something of a collector’s item. It’s a performance full of musical incident, further pepped up by Ansermet’s balletic and theatrical instincts – the product of his experience of having conducted ‘for the ballet’ over many years. This is its first international release on Decca.
Pini di Roma
Fontane di Roma
La boutique fantasque (arr. Respighi)*
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
London Symphony Orchestra*
‘…a very great quantity of splendid sound on offer…’ Gramophone (Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome)
‘…sets the standard for completeness, elegance of performance…a glowing account’ Gramophone (La boutique fantasque)