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Respighi's allegorical scheme in The Pines was Life, Death, Resurrection and End of the World.

Respighi produced his musical structure from this allegorical sequence, resulting in the four sections of his suite for orchestra:

  • Section 1: Allegretto vivace
    Pines at the Villa Borghese; children are heard playing amongst the groves of trees (Life) [listen -- track 1, 2:32 to track 2, 1:05].
  • 2 Lento
    Pines near a Catacomb; the music conveys the vastness of time and the centuries of silence in these miles of underground tombs (Death) [listen -- track 2, 6:31 to track 3, 0:54].
  • 3 Lento
    Pines of the Janiculum; Moonlight through the trees on this hillside park replicate the biblical scene when, 'early in the morning', Christ was seen newly-risen from the dead (Resurrection) [listen -- track 3, 6:10-7:33].
  • 4 Alla marcia
    Pines of the Appian Way; the terrifying climax of this music is not God's Judgement Day but mankind's self-annihilation. This is a prophetic allegory (End of the World).

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Copyright © 23 October 2005 George Balcombe, London UK


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