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Respighi: Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma, etc / Karajan

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 13, 1997
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  • Respighi: Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma, etc / Karajan
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GX5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I would have to say that "Pines of Rome" is one of, if not my favorite orchestral peices ever composed! I happened to come by this recording by Karajan by accident, and i've never regretted it since. It is, by far, the best recording I have heard of Resphighi's masterpeice to date. There is a depth to the sonority of the sound that is not heard in many other recordings, and as always, Karajan seems to know exactly what the composer had envisioned the peice[s] to sound like. The tempos, dynamics, and overall interpretation of the peices seem to be perfect in execution. Combine that with the masterfull playing and technique of the world-class ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, and you have a combination of pure perfection. I also liked the "Fountains of Rome" recording of this CD, it being of the same high quality and sound as "Pines". My only qualms with this recording is the amount of ambient noises that can be heard throughout the recording. Whether it be what sounds like a dropped bow by a string player, or a chair being moved, or a floorboard creaking, these sounds can clearly be heard. HOWEVER, one soon forgets these minor inconveniences once the orchestra starts to play the peices, and the greatness of the technique and sound can be heard (combined with the melodious genius of Respighi). This is a definite must have for all Respighi fans.
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Format: Audio CD
I love the Pines of Rome and find this version to be the next best after my other benchmark, Reiner's interpretation with the Chicago Symphony in the 60's. Too many conductors feel the need for excessive speed in the opening of this piece, causing it to feel hurried and rushed rather than triumphant. Karjan and Reiner are able to reign in this tendency. The playing is immaculate as well. This is an essential recording of this piece. Buy it.
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Format: Audio CD
This disc, mercifully well recorded in the 1970s, at last brings a performance that can stand comparison with the famous one made by Reiner and the CPO in about 1960 and now available in fine SACD format. I refer to the two Roman pieces which are the real meat of this disc. The remaining items are not really in the same class of epic inspiration but are still played here as well as can be imagined.

The key defining moment in the Pines and Festivals is the last movement of the Pines. It is crucial that the correct tempo is chosen. This should represent the might of the Roman army marching from a far distance, hazy effects vital here, and probably coming from Egypt (indicative cor anglais solo). From there the piece is all about overlapping swathes of sound building up remorselessly over a steady marching beat. The steady beat is crucial (bass drum). Too fast and it becomes a jolly romp home. Too much detail on the beat within the beat and the same damage is done. Very few conductors can resist the urge for volume and speed for this ending and consequently lessen the impact disastrously. Reiner does it best. Karajan is in the same class though and has the advantage of newer recording. Muti and Pappano are among the others who are most successful with this piece and refuse to hurry.

There are, of course, many other key points but none so crucial as the ending. Recorded nightingales are generally well done and so is the distant solo trumpet heard earlier. Karajan is playing to his strengths on this disc. The BPO are pretty well a dream team with this sort of drilled precision and mellifluous playing. That combination is what makes this a fine Roman pairing.
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Format: Audio CD
If I could choose the 10 best classical albums, this would be one of them. The Boccherini is probably the best part, and sections of it were used in several movies, including Sherlock Holmes: The Case of The Silk Stocking and Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World. The quality of the recording is crystal clear, creating the most enjoyable listening experience. It finishes off with Albinoni and the fabulous Adagio in G Minor, featuring Wolfgang Meyer on the organ. All in all, it's a very nice album, and a joy to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Respighi's music on this CD - the Pines of Rome & the Fountains of Rome. A beautiful, evocative and powerful modern take on classical music, my only problem with this CD is the inclusion of some true "Classical" pieces on the same disc. I suppose it is an interesting study to hear the similarities between Resphigi and Boccarini but I would rather have more Resphigi included since I much prefer his modern sound - I suppose the editor assumes if I like Respihgi I must like old music too? If I want to do a study of musical comparisons I would rather borrow the old masters from the library and then decide if I would like to buy the same. Still, no regrets on getting the "Pines & Fountains" - a must-have!
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Format: Audio CD
Karajan, by far, next to Bernstein is one of the great conductors and his style shimmers through Respighi's beautiful fountains.

This recording is the best by far.
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Format: Audio CD
I have the original recording on vinyl and the Pines of the Appian Way remix/tranfer disappointed me; the horns near the end seemed a little muted. Otherwise, it's the best recording I've heard.
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