RESPIGHI: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suites Nos. 1- 3 (Chris Craker/ Ireland National Symphony Orchestra/ Rico Saccani) (Naxos: 8.553546)
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Divided between the Marco Polo and the Naxos label, we are releasing all of the major works of the Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi.
At present there is tremendous activity among recording companies to promote the music of Respighi so his profile on the record shelves is high, and this fine new disc of his Ancient Airs and Dances is the first one made for issue on a super-budget price label.
It was Respighi looking back at songs and dances one hundred years before his birth, and bringing his own form of orchestral colours to formal music of the pre-classical era. The result is immediately attractive music with all of the composers gift of exotic orchestration.
It was recorded at the National Concert Hall in Dublin in September 1995 by the American born conductor, of Italian parentage, Rico Saccani. As one of America and Europe's leading opera conductors he brings all his expertise into the field of Italian song with the outstanding National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, who quite simply love playing for such a gifted conductor. His previous appearance on the Naxos label has been in the opera Aida.