Mancinelli: Scene Veneziane [Cleopatra Overture] [Francesco La Vecchia] [Naxos: 8573074]
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Of the composers who inaugurated the renaissance of Italian instrumental music in the late nineteenth century, Luigi Mancinelli is probably the least well-known. Older than Martucci, Respighi and Casella, he was in the vanguard of that creative resurgence. As a conductor he was admired by Wagner and Verdi, and as a composer he wrote music of sophistication and style, such as the colourful and touching Scene veneziane
(Scenes of Venice). The music for Cleopatra
shows why, in its increased complexity, Mancinelli was admired for his orchestral mastery. Francesco La Vecchia
was appointed Artistic Director and Resident Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma in 2002. The orchestra has rapidly achieved success in Europe under his leadership.