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RESPIGHI, O.: Roman Trilogy - Roman Festivals / Fountains of Rome / Pines of Rome (Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta)


Naxos 8.574013

   ClassicsToday.com, June 2020
   American Record Guide, July 2019
   Fanfare, July 2019
   ClassicalCDReview.com, June 2019
   Birmingham Post, May 2019
   Record Geijutsu, May 2019
   Fanfare, May 2019
   Fanfare, May 2019
   BBC Music Magazine, May 2019
   Gramophone, May 2019
   Audio Video Club of Atlanta, April 2019
   MusicWeb International, April 2019
   Limelight, April 2019
   The WholeNote, April 2019
   Audiophile Audition, March 2019
   AllMusic.com, March 2019
   ClassicsToday.com, March 2019
   iClassical, March 2019
   The Buffalo News, March 2019
   Classical Candor, March 2019
   Classicalsource.com, February 2019
   The Northern Echo, February 2019
   David's Review Corner, February 2019
   Classical Music Sentinel, January 2019

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David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, June 2020

The new recording of the whole trilogy with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philarmonic on Naxos is absolutely first rate. It’s a great recording with all three of them…and I really recommend it very, very highly especially because that disc starts with Feste Romane and ends with the Pines and they really, really do a great final march. © 2020 ClassicsToday.com Watch complete review



Donald R. Vroon
American Record Guide, July 2019

JoAnn Falletta conducts the music perfectly; it’s a natural unfolding (not driven), climaxes seem inevitable (not artificial). Nothing is rushed; nothing is falsely held back for effect. This woman can make even Respighi seem utterly “right” and well designed. She is making music, not putting on a big show. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Andrew Desiderio
Fanfare, July 2019

…clean and precise, yet vivid and expressive. By emphasizing the composer’s textural transparency, yet taking care to let the music speak for itself, Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic give us a fresh and thrilling take on these concert warhorses. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Fountains of Rome, but the nocturnal clarity of this interpretation, with its veiled, perfume-like textures and expressive solos, have helped me hear it with fresh ears.

This is a splendid recording by a top-drawer conductor and orchestra that captures the sorcery of Respighi’s orchestral writing. Not to be missed. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, June 2019

This new Naxos issue offers splendid playing by the Buffalo Philharmonic. Their conductor, JoAnn Falletta, leads dynamic interpretations, and the record sound is excellent. Competition is keen, particularly the BIS SACD with John Neschling and the superb Sao Paulo Orchestra. © 2019 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review



Birmingham Post, May 2019

Falletta avoids the temptation to go over-the-top, and the recording has suitable amplitude. © 2019 Birmingham Post




Hiro Aiba
Record Geijutsu, May 2019

A strong album challenging all other works previously done. In contrast to the common notion one thinks of Naxos’ Roman Trilogy as a sensational and blustering style by Enrique Batiz, this new release presents Joanne Falletta conducting an orthodox, brilliant and commendable performance. © 2019 Record Geijutsu



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, May 2019

Falletta leads the Buffalo Philharmonic in performances that are well rehearsed, razor-sharp in execution, and a model of tonal refinement, as well as both inter- and intra-section coordination and balance.

These are solid, respectable performances, and Naxos’s budget price is often a determinative selling point. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Steven Kruger
Fanfare, May 2019

JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic have brought us appealing Respighi performances which reward our sense of aesthetics as much as they spike our adrenalin. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review




Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine, May 2019

It’s a long way from Buffalo to Rome, but the Buffalo Philharmonic players bridge the gap impressively in their new recording of Respighi’s trilogy of tone-poems based on the history and geography of the Italian city. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine



Tim Ashley
Gramophone, May 2019

Falletta and her orchestra are often at their most persuasive when Respighi is at his most reflective. The woodwind solos that open Fontane twine ravishingly round each other, while the final section sounds very melancholy as the sun sets over the Villa Medici. The mandolin serenade that closes ‘L’Ottobrata’ in Feste romane is all amatory nostalgia, exquisitely done. Time suddenly stands still, meanwhile, when we reach the Catacombs in Pini, where the distant trumpet seems to hover eerily in the air and the penumbral strings suggest deep, reverential awe. The Gianicolo movement—slow and very sensuous indeed—is genuinely magical. © 2019 Gramophone



Audio Video Club of Atlanta, April 2019

JoAnn Falletta, at the helm of the Buffalo Philharmonic, gives us smoothly accomplished, thoroughly nuanced accounts of the well-loved Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, with the less-often performed Roman Festivals (Feste romane) included to complete a Roman Trilogy. It all makes for a superb listening experience of a composer whose tonal palette, ranging from subtle shades of earth colours to shimmering fluorescent timbres, has been unmatched by any composer since his time. © 2019 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, April 2019

This is the second Naxos issue of Respighi from this orchestra and conductor [Buffalo Philharmonic and Falletta] —

Falletta’s conclusion to this Roman Trilogy is properly overwhelming…a lustrous addition to the Naxos catalogue. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Phillip Scott
Limelight, April 2019

She came, she saw, she conquered: JoAnn Falletta sets light to a dazzling Roman candle, and what’s more at bargain price.

A good place to start is the gentle opening of La Fontana di Valle Giulia all’Alba, the first of the Roman fountains. Falletta’s woodwind soloists not only play with exquisite tenderness, but are beautifully balanced with each other and against the quiet orchestral backdrop. When the second fountain bursts (literally) onto the scene, she maintains a light touch—after all it’s water, not New Year’s Eve fireworks. At the other end of the scale (Pines of the Appian Way), the Naxos engineers bring out the big guns, although I’ve heard bigger (Sinopoli with the New York Philharmonic). I am impressed by how subtly Falletta conveys the sinister, threatening atmosphere at the quiet opening of this procession of war.

The sound on this disc is bright, vivid and well balanced. © 2019 Limelight Read complete review



Janos Gardonyi
The WholeNote, April 2019

…This brilliant new recording by JoAnn Falletta…picks the Festivals to play first (!), turning it into a monumental sound spectacle and making the most of Respighi’s adventurous harmonies and orchestration. Just listen to Circenses where the music is so graphic as it describes vividly ferocious lions devouring Christian martyrs and Ottobrata with its sweet mandolin solo and far away horn calls evoking my beloved countryside around Rome.

The disc gives us surprise after delightful surprise as Falletta, revelling in the rich score, brings out voices I have never heard before. Like a gorgeous sound painting of night on the Gianicolo Hills with the noble silhouettes of pines and a nightingale singing. © 2019 The WholeNote




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, March 2019

The October Festival, the longest movement, essentially depicts a fertility and hunt celebration, when the wine of life embraces the true harvest of Nature, life, and love-song, courtesy of a mandolin. The last section, the night prior to the Epiphany in the Piazza Navona, once more offers a kaleidoscope of effects, a raucous frenzy of activities of a barrel organ and lively dance tunes, saltarelli, and street songs puffed with Roman pride of place. Falletta’s trumpets have set the tone early, here in this symphonic poem, that will resonate throughout each of the three poems. Each of the symphonic poems combines pagan and Christian energies, marked by that popular claim, Lassatece passa, semo Romani!” We Romans demand the right of passage! © 2019 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, March 2019

…Falletta earned her stripes with a previous recording of three much less often heard Respighi tone poems that was critically acclaimed and gives her justification for having her say in the big three. More than that, however, there’s a certain energy and excitement running all the way through this recording. The Buffalo Philharmonic has a noted brass section; yes, you might find better in Chicago or Berlin, but the climaxes here have real bite. © 2019 AllMusic.com Read complete review




ClassicsToday.com, March 2019

…this is as impressive a recording of the composer’s Roman Trilogy as any in the catalogue. Everything about the program, from the order of the works (Festivals, Fountains, Pines), to the quality of the playing, to the bright and punchy sonics, bespeaks an effort to do it right. Falletta and team give the music the respect that it deserves. Given how many mediocre versions of this repertoire there are, that’s saying a lot.

A terrific disc. © 2019 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review




iClassical, March 2019

…an excellent performance, captured in great sound, it gets the programme off to an enjoyable start.

JoAnn Falletta and her players in the Buffalo Philharmonic seem to go from strength to strength in these releases from Naxos and I’m sure that all collectors will be really grateful for this latest addition to the catalogue. This disc will stand proudly on my shelves alongside great versions of this trilogy by Toscanini, Bernstein, Reiner, and Kempe.

Just turn it up loud, to get the full benefit, and sit back and enjoy! © 2019 iClassical Read complete review



Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, March 2019

There’s a new record by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and it’s a beauty. It’s a traversal of Ottorino Respighi’s “Roman Trilogy”—in other words, on one record Respighi’s major music from 1916-1926: “Roman Festivals,” “The Fountains of Rome” and “The Pines of Rome.”

The great thing about the disc by Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic is that Respighi is that unusual composer who gains significantly by being heard in large quantity. The more you hear of him, the more variety, charm, mysticism and lyricism you hear in his music. Both the performances by the BPO and the sound quality of the disc are superb. © 2019 The Buffalo News Read complete review



John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, March 2019

Ms. Falletta carefully draws out the morning beauty of the opening “Fountain of Valle Guilia at Dawn.” It’s never too rushed and the contrasts in light and shadow are nicely accentuated. The “Triton Fountain” fairly bursts forth, although, again, not overly dramatically so. Ms. Falletta contains herself, never vulgarizing the music and, thus, making it all the more effective. She takes “The Trivi Fountain at Midday” at a triumphant gait, and she manages the closing “Villa Medici Fountain at Sunset” in a solemn yet stately manner. © 2019 Classical Candor Read complete review




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, February 2019

JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic are the latest to enter the distinguished orchestra/conductor ring with this music, literally so in Feste romane (1928) with its gladiatorial opening, brass and percussion pealing out, if not without a sinister backdrop: this is combat to the death. Falletta and her sensitive players are especially alive to the music’s mysterious and nocturnal aspects, although there is no lack of uproar and sledgehammer impact when required. However it’s those starlit moments that most beguile, even with something momentous lurking, and there is plenty of bright-day celebration, too, and when a mandolin strikes up, well, surely, the hardest heart will melt. The best thing to do is throw a wild party and so the final section, ‘Epiphany’, is fairground-rollicking, becoming hedonistic in the concluding measures.

This Roman Holiday release, Falletta’s second of Respighi for Naxos, has magnetic pulling power. May we now have the delicious, Rossini-inspired, La Boutique fantasque. © 2019 Classicalsource.com Read the complete review



The Northern Echo, February 2019

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under music director JoAnn Falletta, present the music in all its glory as it encapsulates romantic serenade and rustic dance… © 2019 The Northern Echo



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2019

Ottorino Respighi’s highly coloured pictures of Rome continue to offer one of the great opportunities for orchestras and conductors to strut their outgoing virtuosity. Here we have JoAnn Falletta, who, for the last twenty years has created in Buffalo one of the finest North American orchestras, and here confirms that status with a stunning release. Of course many of the world’s leading ensembles have already recorded these extravagant orchestral show-pieces, but having heard most of those on international release, this one can take its place in the premiere league. Falletta moves the music forward with an overall shape to each of Respighi’s pictures, and achieves a natural flow, particularly so in Roman Festivals, a score that can easily sound fragmented. There Respighi has daubed colours onto the canvass, but in the Fountains and Pines he also uses many subtle colours, and it is here the orchestra’s woodwind section emerge with flying colours, while the delicate moments that conclude the Fountains are captured with great care and beauty. Falletta takes the opening Pines of Villa Borghese at a refreshingly quick tempo, but the orchestra, particularly the solo horn, handle it well. The dark scene of the Pines near a Catacomb is chillingly atmospheric, while the barely audible opening of Pines of the Appian Way grows to a level that will have your speakers jumping around as the percussion and organ hammer out the final moments. So congratulations to all concerned—the sound engineers creating a quite staggering audio achievement. © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Classical Music Sentinel, January 2019

Conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra may not quite convey the drunken revelry, vulgar frenzy, muscle and sonic savagery required during the final La Befana (‘Epiphany’) from the Roman Festivals, but they along with the Naxos sound engineers well capture and project many other facets of this work. The epic grandeur and barbaric brutality of the Circenses (‘Circus Maximus’), the dark, sombre and stoic solitude of the Pini presso una catacomba (‘Pines near a Catacomb’) from the Pines of Rome. … Adrenaline rush achieved! © 2019 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review





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