Compact Discoveries
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, recorded and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2003 by Compact Discoveries, Inc.

Program 40
"Music of Rospighi"

MUSIC: Overture to La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop) by Rossini/Respighi as performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro [Vanguard Classics SVC-41, track 1] under the following:[1:57]

FLAXMAN: Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman. The music in the background is the Overture to La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop). But who is it by? Well, the original music was written for the piano by the Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini, who lived from 1792 until 1868 - the same chap who wrote all those famous operas with all those famous overtures, including the Barber of Seville and William Tell. In my youth a section of the William Tell Overture was better known as the theme to The Lone Ranger.

Rossini lived into his mid seventies and actually retired from opera writing 39 years before he died. In his later years he devoted himself to a huge set of piano pieces which he called Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of Old Age). These delightful compositions first reached publication only in the 1950s, and are still rarely recorded or performed today. I consider them true Compact Discoveries and you'll hear several of them for yourself in this program.

Another Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi, who lived from 1879 until 1936, orchestrated many of Rossini's piano pieces into a ballet for Diaghilev in 1919 called La Boutique Fantasque and a suite called Rossiniana. Since the piano pieces were written by Rossini and the orchestral adaptations were written by Respighi, I call these two works the music of Gioacchino Ottorino Rospighi.

I'm going to devote this entire hour of Compact Discoveries to "The Music of Rospighi." We'll go back and forth for most of the program between the wonderful original piano pieces by Rossini, performed by Paolo Giacometti on a Channel Classics compact disc, and the orchestral transcriptions by Respighi, performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro on a Vanguard Classics release. The program will conclude with some other selections from La Boutique Fantasque by the composer I call "Rospighi."

Let's begin now with the Allegretto and the second Andantino Sostenuto from Quelques riens pour album (An Album of Sweet Little Nothings) from Sins of Old Age by Gioacchino Rossini. The pianist is Paolo Giacometti. That will be followed immediately by the first movement from Rossiniana, as orchestrated by Respighi. The movement is called Capri e Taormina, and it makes use of both of these Rossini piano pieces. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Antonio Janigro in that recording.

MUSIC: Rossini: Allegretto from Quelques riens pour album, Complete works for piano, vol. 4, performed by Paolo Giacometti [Channel Classics CCS SA 18003, track 1][3:12]

MUSIC: Rossini: Andantino sostenuto from Quelques riens pour album, Complete works for piano, vol. 4, performed by Paolo Giacometti [Channel Classics CCS SA 18003, track 8] [2:42]

MUSIC: Rossini/Respighi: Capri e Taormina from Rossiniana, performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro [Vanguard Classics SVC-41, track 15][5:04]

FLAXMAN: Capri e Taormina from Rossiniana, orchestrated by Respighi, was preceeded by the original piano pieces by Rossini.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries and I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman. This hour is devoted to "Music by Rospighi." "Rospighi" is the name I made up for the composer of the works which combine the piano music of Rossini with the orchestrations of Respighi. The composer is usually listed as Rossini slash Respighi or Respighi slash Rossini.

Next we'll go back and forth without further announcements between the original piano pieces by Rossini, always performed by Paolo Giacometti, and the Respighi orchestrations used in his ballet La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop), always performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro.

MUSIC: Rossini: excerpts from Quelques riens pour album, Complete works for piano, vol. 4, performed by Paolo Giacometti [Channel Classics CCS SA 18003] alternating with excerpts from Rossini/Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque, performed by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro [Vanguard Classics SVC-41] FLAXMAN: Excerpts from La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop), orchestrated by Ottorino Respighi, alternated with the original piano music by Gioacchino Rossini, from Rossini's Quelques riens pour album (An Album of Little Sweet Nothings). The pianist was Paolo Giacometti for the Rossini. The orchestra was the Vienna Symphony, conducted by Antonio Janigro, for the Rospighi - that is to say the Rossini music as orchestrated by Respighi.

You are listening to "The Music of 'Rospighi'" on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman. And we'll conclude this hour with one last excerpt from "Rospighi's" La Boutique Fantasque - the "Can-Can" - or, as the French would say it - the "Cahn-Cahn."

MUSIC: Rossini: "Can-Can" from Rossini/Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque, with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonio Janigro [Vanguard Classics SVC-41, track 8][1:54]

FLAXMAN: Music from the ballet La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop). The original music was written for the piano by Rossini. The orchestrations were by Respighi. So I'm taking the liberty of calling this "Music by 'Rospighi,'" and that is what I have devoted his hour to. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Compact Discoveries is produced and presented by yours truly, Fred Flaxman, who you can reach in care of this station or through the Internet at www.fredflaxman.com. That's www-dot-f-r-e-d-f-l-a-x-m-a-n-dot-c-o-m.

Compact Discoveries is made possible in large part by the generous, caring listeners who support public radio financially as well as morally and aurally. It is a production of Compact Discoveries, Incorporated, and is a presentation of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUSIC: [same as opening] ends at 58:00


 
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