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Respighi: Church Windows/Brazilian Impressions/Roman Festivals

Ottorino Respighi , Jesus Lopez-Cobos , Cincinnati Symphony Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Respighi: Church Windows/Brazilian Impressions/Roman Festivals + Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances; Trittico botticelliano + Pines of Rome / Birds / Fountains of Rome
Price for all three: $34.62

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Cincinnati Symphony
  • Conductor: Jesus Lopez-Cobos
  • Composer: Ottorino Respighi
  • Audio CD (February 22, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CZV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. The Flight Into Egypt
2. II. Saint Michael The Archangel
3. III. The Matins Of Saint Clare
4. IV. Saint Gregory The Great
5. I. Tropical Night
6. II. Butantan
7. III. Song And Dance
8. I. Circus Maximus
9. II. The Jubilee
10. III. The October Festival
11. IV. The Epiphany

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic, Powerful and Superbly done by Lopez-Cobos January 4, 2001
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In classical music, there seems to be a wonderfully strange phenomenon wherein a certain conductor will emerge with a far greater and more profound, intuitive understanding of a specific composer than others in the field. The result, as in this recording is one that is simply stunning and magnificent to hear.
Jesus Lopez-Cobos conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is truly a master of bringing the music of Ottorino Respighi to brilliant life, especially through his interpretation of "Roman Festivals" where the brash and forward trumpets accompanied by a booming drum seem to shake the air with their power and prove, in the 4th movement, "The Epiphany" just how structurally magnificent Respighi's vision was. ' In "Church Windows" one can actually visualize the artists conception of the saints especially in the second movement "Saint Michael the Archangel" and the 4th movement "Saint Gregory the Great" which inspire the sense of beauty as well as the terrible power overarching frail humanity who gaze upon these works of art. This grandeur of saints and angels is captured both in delicate as well as striking tonal palettes that inform the listener of the colors and shapes of the figures being studied with an eye toward intensity.
"Brazilian Impressions" is beautiful but less clear to this reviewer. One is left with the sense of a poem or a snapshot rather than a true musical essay. However, "Tropical Night" promotes a sense of the lush and sensual, and "Song and Dance" is playful and piquant. All in all, this is a recording to cherish and to study for it offers never ending surprise and delight through the genius of Lopez -Cobos.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rapturuous Respighi January 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This writer long has admired Arturo Toscanini's RCA Victor recordings of Ottorino Respighi's "Roman Cycle," which includes "Fountains of Rome," "Pines and Rome," and "Roman Festivals." Certainly for interpretation of the Respighi symphonic poems, Toscanini has been hard to beat. For one thing, Toscanini was a close friend of the composer and was entrusted with the world premiere of "Roman Festivals," given in Carnegie Hall in 1929 with the New York Philharmonic.
The recorded performances with the NBC Symphony, made between 1949 and 1953, are hallmarks. The only thing missing in those vintage recordings is the exceptional sound that has been achieved in recent years, particularly in Telarc's amazing digital recordings. On this CD we get to hear the last of the "Roman Cycle," "Roman Festivals" in a powerful, very exciting performance by the very fine Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Jesus Lopez-Cobos. All the stops are pulled out, from the roaring lions as the Christians are martyred in the Coliseum to the raucous, sometimes comical "Epiphany" finale. I have little doubt that Toscanini would have approved of this recording and wished that RCA had been able to capture the volume during the fortissimo sections. (It has been noted that Toscanini tried to get RCA to record more volume and was told by the engineers that the 1949 recording equipment simply couldn't handle it. He said he didn't care if they broke the tape machine. Undoubtedly, he would have smiled over the technical advances that have occurred in recording since then.)
I first discovered "Church Windows" in the ground-breaking Columbia recording by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vive La Befana! March 12, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This recording is a great deal of fun. Church Windows combines great energy and Respighi's brilliant skill as an orchestrator. Great music for long car trips! It evokes the aesthetic spirit of ancient/medieval times while offering a generous helping of Romantic bombast. The pipe organ grabs you when you least expect it.
Brazilian Impressions is too soft in parts to hear in the car; it's not the most energetic piece, but Cobos and the Cincinnati O. really bring out its finer points; above all, Respighi's detailed orchestration comes through in the performance. It's sweet for reflective, quiet moments.
One major reason to get a copy of the performance: the final track of Roman Festivals--"The Epiphany," or "La Befana" in Italian. All of Roman Festivals is wonderful, but I just want to hone in on this one movement. I call "The Epiphany" my birthday song, because I was born on January 6, '73, the day of the Epiphany festival. In this recording, the sound quality, the performance, and the sheer brilliance of this final movement of Roman Festivals is unbeatable. This is music to wake the dead, to ride the open road, to play at a wild, hedonistic party. It is sheer insanity, an unbelievably brilliant composition. Just listen to what the composer does to Italian folk melodies--and he almost never uses folk tunes like this--the twisting, and jumping, the jeering, the raspberries, the histrionics! Cobos captures all of this and builds you right up to the final romp. This performance just has to be the single most brilliant rendering of "The Epiphany" out there.
Two major reasons why this recording rocks: performance and sound quality. I thank Cobos, the orchestra, and Telarc engineering for that. Overall, in this recording you have a true gem, something to return to for colorful inspiration.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good CD!
This a CD which has some lesser known works (besides Roman Festivals) of Respighi that I wanted to explore! The quality of this recording is good!
Published 6 months ago by Ann McNally
4.0 out of 5 stars All over too soon
This CD with two of Ottorino Respighi's tone poems (called 'impressions' and a 'suite') is a good example his excellent orchestration skills. Read more
Published on June 4, 2012 by Gerhard Griesel
4.0 out of 5 stars A little short on intensity, but a great CD nonetheless
Ottorino Respighi is one of my all-time favorite music composers of the 20th century. His music may not be structurally perfect, but the man sure knew how to create catchy... Read more
Published on March 8, 2011 by Eric S. Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best "Church Windows" Out There
This was my first exposure to the four-movement tone poem "Church Windows," and López-Cobos's interpretation is still at the top, from the recordings I've heard. Read more
Published on January 16, 2008 by B. R. Merrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
I will admit from the outset that Respighi is one of my top five favorite composers; but he has earned that place with works of beauty, power, creativity, feel and elegance. Read more
Published on August 24, 2007 by B. Stewart
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressive Works by a Great Composer
I am a fan of many of Respighi's works, but I was not impressed by Brazilian Impressions or Church Windows. Read more
Published on July 16, 2007 by Robert S. Costic
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing disc!
This disc is totally fascinating on so many levels. First, there is the music itself: Respighi ranging from crystalline delicacy, to almost brutal force. Read more
Published on May 15, 2006 by R. V. Wendel
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful!
In brief, this is a very powerful recording, and a unique, passionate interpretation of all these works. Church Windows will take your breath away! Cincinnatti's best work!
Published on March 24, 2006 by J. SHERMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Give your hifi a workout with Respighi
This is a delightful composition, and Respighi is one of those oft overlooked composers who can provide relief from the usual "B" composers. Read more
Published on November 3, 2005 by BoolaBoola
5.0 out of 5 stars Listening to Respighi is a guilty pleasure...
...and this album exudes that feeling like none other. This is easily my favorite recording of Church Windows, a suite that creates a musical mosaic of religious poems even though... Read more
Published on October 24, 2003 by Jacob Kenagy
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