<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson ORCHESTRAL PANOPLY
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].