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It was The Fountains of Rome that made Respighi's reputation, but not only for musical reasons. No visitor can leave the city without vivid memories of the 'Triton Fountain' in the Piazza Barberini. Its marvellous combination, in the resourceful and subtle hands of Bernini, of sea-spirit, open shell and supporting fish, is a composition as original as it is unforgettable. Respighi contains it in a mighty splash of colour with a brilliant Rome morning as background [listen -- track 6, 0:00-1:25]. Legend would have it that the 'Trevi Fountain' is also a Bernini design; but the dominant Neptune has a Rococo elegance that implies a later age, to say nothing of the picturesque deployment of streams and rivulets among the rocks. Respighi lets loose the whole of his orchestral panoply in an overwhelming burst of sound at Rome's midday, wonderfully captured in this 1959 recording. It calms down a little for the afternoon, as all good Romans do [listen -- track 7, 0:00-1:04].

Copyright © 15 October 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


Pines of Rome - Fountains of Rome

JMCXR-0008 XRCD Stereo 37'04" 1959 BMG Entertainment, 2000 Victor Company of Japan Ltd

Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Fritz Reiner, conductor

Respighi: Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome


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