Respighi: Sinfonia drammatica, P. 102 & Belfagor Overture, P. 140 Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège & John Neschling

Cover Respighi: Sinfonia drammatica, P. 102 & Belfagor Overture, P. 140

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Sinfonia drammatica:
  • 1I. Allegro energico22:38
  • 2II. Andante sostenuto16:48
  • 3III. Allegro impetuoso18:41
  • Overture, P. 140:
  • 4Belfagor10:54
  • Total Runtime01:09:01

Info for Respighi: Sinfonia drammatica, P. 102 & Belfagor Overture, P. 140

Ottorino Respighi is most celebrated for his vividly colourful symphonic poems, and above all the brilliantly orchestrated trilogy celebrating the landmarks and history of Rome: The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome and Roman Festivals. Impressioni brasiliane, another triptych in a similar vein although on a smaller scale communicates Respighis impressions from the summer of 1927, which he spent in Rio de Janeiro. The composer was fascinated by the popular music of Brazil, but also by the nature (the rain forests in the Rio area inspired the first part of the triptych, Notte Tropicale), animal life (a visit to the famous Butantan collection of poisonous snakes and spiders gave him material for the sinuous second part) and, naturally, the carnival, with Canzone e Danza painting a picture of riotous and colourful street festivities. Respighis greatness as an orchestrator is evident not only in his original works, but also in his adaptations of music by other composers. One such work is La Boutique fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop), composed in 1918 for Diaghilevs Ballets Russes, and performed more than 1000 times during the following few years. Respighi's score was based on piano pieces by Rossini, and it accompanies a plot centred on the love of two marionettes, the creations of a toymaker specializing in beautiful dancing dolls. In his shop the dolls perform various dances to attract customers a tarantella, a Cossack dance, a can-can providing Respighi with the opportunity to use every colour on his orchestral palette. On the present disc we hear the complete ballet score, performed by the fine Liège Royal Philharmonic making their first appearance on BIS. Conductor John Neschling, on the other hand, is a BIS veteran, with superb credentials in things Brazilian (including the complete Choros by Villa-Lobos) and a recording of Respighi's Roman Trilogy placed firmly 'among the great versions of this music' by the web site.

„Neschling's performance rocks.“ (Listen Magazine)

Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege
John Neschling, conductor

Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège
Founded in 1960, the Liège Royal Philharmonic/Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (OPRL) (which numbers one hundred musicians) is recognised today as ‘the best orchestra of Belgium’. It has a powerful, recognisable identity in the Eu- ropean musical world, linked to its distinctive artistic and geographical position at the crossroads of the Germanic and French spheres, reflecting the age-old history of Liège: it combines the density of Germanic orchestras with the transparency of their French counterparts. It is known for its commitment, its curiosity about all kinds of repertoire, and its bold choices in relation to a wide range of audiences. Over more than half a century, the OPRL has shown its openness to different repertoires and has developed a reputation, in particular, for its performances of French music and of contemporary works (the orchestra has premiered more than ninety com- positions by Berio, Xenakis, Piazzolla, Takemitsu, Boesmans, Dusapin, and Manto- vani, among others). The OPRL has recorded more than seventy discs in fifty years; most have been widely acclaimed by the international press. It tours regularly: since 1999 it has undertaken seven tours, which have taken it to, for example, South America, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The OPRL currently gives more than eighty concerts a year, of which half take place in Liège. Since 2000 it has also run the Salle Philharmonique in Liège and expanded the range of concerts there to include Baroque music, world music, chamber music, and major recitals on piano and organ.

John Neschling
The Brazilian-born conductor John Neschling is a grand-nephew both of the composer Arnold Schoenberg and of the conductor Arthur Bodanzky. He studied in Vienna under Hans Swarowsky and attended classes with Leonard Bernstein and Bruno Maderna in Europe and in the USA. Orchestras he has conducted include the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague. As an opera con- ductor he has appeared all over the world with, for example, the Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Arena di Verona, Opernhaus Zürich and Washington Opera.

He has been music director at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the St Gallen Opera in Switzerland, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine in France; in Brazil he has conducted the opera com- panies in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In 1997 he became principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, a position he retained until 2009. During these years he transformed the orchestra into the leading symphony orchestra of Latin America, touring the USA and Europe three times, and recording more than 30 acclaimed discs. Since 2011 he has conducted concerts and opera productions in Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Poland, and in January 2013 he took over the artistic and musical direction of the Theatro Municipal in São Paulo.

Booklet for Respighi: Sinfonia drammatica, P. 102 & Belfagor Overture, P. 140

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