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Ottorino Respighi (1879 – 1936)      Orchesterwerke     Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal George Hanson, Dirigent  MDG 102 2299-6 SACD

Ottorino Respighi

(1879 – 1936)


Orchestral Works

Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra

George Hanson, conductor


MDG 102 2299-6


Price: 21,99 €



These rarely heard works offer listeners an introduction to very different aspects of Respighi’s orchestral oeuvre. The mighty "Metamorphoseon", a breathtaking symphonic interpretation of Bach's C minor Passacaglia, a suite on themes by Rossini as well as the world premiere recording of an early burlesque are performed by the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, conducted by George Hanson. Recorded in MDG’s innovative 2+2+2 technology in one of the best concert halls in Europe, the Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal is acoustically almost identical to Vienna’s Musikverein, supporting the full range of dynamics that an orchestra can play.



Respighi uses different modes to vary the theme of his "Metamorphoseon" in a highly sonorous study that pulls out all the stops in the art of orchestration. His intention was to remove the archaic tonal idiom of Gregorian chant "from the Catholic liturgy and to make its artistic and human values serviceable to the modern tonal idiom" (Elsa Respighi). Each variation offers almost every instrumental group a virtuosic solo, inspiring the ambitious orchestra to unimagined heights. It is without a doubt a bravura piece in its genre.


Already quite monumental in the original, the C minor Passacaglia gains additional weight in Respighi's version, becoming more virtuosic and powerful than spiritual and introspective in character. The mighty sound of the concert organ in the Great Hall is heard in all its trembling splendour with a 64-foot stop in the pedal at the end of the piece. Warning: This magnificent “queen of instruments“ may cause enthusiastic rapture!



Ottorino Respighi bequeathed an extremely multifaceted oeuvre to posterity in more than just the field of orchestral music. His music was almost completely obscured by the overwhelming success of his popular Roman tone poems and therefore for many decades was unable to command the attention it deserved. This recording redresses this imbalance and thus corrects our image of Respighi: the maestro from Bologna has to be regarded as one of the greats of the early twentieth century and one with his own unique artistic creed.

"...a charming recording of seldom-heard music." (Schwann)

"luxuriant sound... sympathetic recording" (BBC)

Ottorino Respighi (1879 – 1936)      Orchesterwerke     Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal George Hanson, Dirigent  MDG 102 2299-6 SACD

Also available:

Rossini: Wind Quartets Consortium Classicum MDG 102 2291-2
Rossini: Petite Messe solennelle Bachchor Gütersloh, Hermann Kreutz, conductor MDG 102 0003-2
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