24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2007
Respighi's Roman trilogy receives an excellent reading from the BSO and Ozawa. The sound is thrilling, and the players don't hold back in their virtuosity. The brass sound is round, well-balanced and extremely powerful when needed. The woodwind solos are top-notch, and include perhaps the finest English horn solo in Pines I've heard. I know what I want when I hear these pieces: virtuosity, sonics and visceral excitement. All who contributed to this disc provide just that.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
I wish I could have given this recording 4 1/2 stars. The Ozawa/Boston Roman Trilogy is, in my estimation, a very close second, only after Gatti's version. The BSO's playing is absolutely flawless. I can't imagine any orchestra playing these pieces better. DG's recording is also wonderful, taking full advantage of Boston's world-famous Symphony Hall. The only thing that keeps this from getting five stars and being my absolutely favorite Roman Trilogy is that, for me, Ozawa is just a tiny bit too restrained with his nuances. I feel these pieces call for some imagination on the part of the conductor, but Ozawa seems to prefer to not get too involved. In all fairness, however, there are many listeners who would undoubtedly see such an objective approach as a distinct advantage. For those with such a preference, you can rest assured that you'll be getting the finest orchestral playing and recording quality that you are likely to ever find of this music.
(Listen especially to the last 3 minutes of "Jubilee", the second part of "Feste Romane". As Respighi's pilgrims finally arrive in Rome after a long and agonizing journey, the joy and grandeur of the moment is captured absolutely perfectly by Ozawa/Boston. I have heard every single version of Feste Romane that I am aware of having been released, going all the way back to Toscanini's version, and absolutely nobody but Ozawa gets it just right (not even my favorite, Gatti).)