SGAMBATI, G.: Symphony No. 1 / Cola di Rienzo (Rome Symphony, La Vecchia)
Giovanni Sgambati was one of the most important figures in the Renaissance of Italian instrumental music that began in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Wagner arranged the publication of his first chamber works, calling him ‘a true, great and original talent’. Sgambati’s blending of Italianate lyricism and German rigour led to large-scale works of real historical significance. His overture Cola di Rienzo exemplifies his richness of characterisation while the First Symphony is a major statement of breadth and intensity, admired by Grieg and Saint-Saëns, and often conducted by Toscanini.
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