In the early decades of the 1900’s, and after years during which the works of the great Opera composers reigned supreme and Italian instrumental music was largely ignored by audiences and musicians alike, Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was almost single-handedly responsible for the rise in importance of Italian orchestral music.In order for that to happen it had to take a genius of the caliber of Respighi to lay claim to a place in the orchestral repertory then largely occupied by the likes of Mahler and Strauss in Germany and Austria, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff in Russia and Debussy and Ravel in France.
With the composition of his set of suites Ancient Airs and Dances and his Concerto all’antica, Respighi unconsciously embraced Decadentism, an artistic philosophy then much in vogue which sought to recover the traditional aesthetic ideology of Renaissance and Baroque arts. Famed for his Roman Trilogy, The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome with their lush orchestrations, Respighi was also capable of brilliantly combining Baroque and Renaissance musical forms with post-Romantic harmony, as he did in the works featured on this CD.
The NAXOS CLASSICS CD features exquisite playing by violinist Davide Alogna and the Chamber Orchestra of New York led by Maestro Salvatore Di Vittorio.
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
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