ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
OTTORINO RESPIGHI - LA SENSITIVA / ARETUSA


OTTORINO RESPIGHI - LA SENSITIVA / ARETUSA - LA PENTOLA MAGICA - DAMIANA PINTI (Mezzo) - MARZIO CONTI (Conductor) - PALERMO TEATRO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA -
CPO SACD 777071


Most of us know and love Respighi when he flexes his orchestral muscle, as in works like his Roman Trilogy, Church Windows, and Belkis, The Queen of Sheba to name only a few. Well, here is another side of this great Italian composer that deserves just as much admiration.

The main work on this disc is the song cycle La Sensitiva (The Sensitive Plant), written on a poem by Shelly, which lovingly describes the life of a garden plant that endures the turmoil of the variant seasons only to die at the hands of winter. It is a very beautiful poem to which Respighi wrote beautiful music, with very slight undertones of Richard Strauss and Canteloube. There is skill and magic in the orchestration supporting the voice. Damiana Pinti sings with just the right level of emotion when it is called for by the words or the music, and conveys the tragedy very well.

The ballet La Pentola Magica, written with great care and infused with fun, will most certainly remind you of La Boutique Fantasque in it's light and comical atmosphere.

If you love Respighi when he is loud and proud, try this soft and sensitive side of him. You will be impressed just the same. If you don't know Respighi at all, this is as fine an example of his talent as anything else, and very touching music.

Jean-Yves Duperron