Daily Archives: July 3, 2014

great Compositions/performances: ” Lauda per la Natività del Signore” Ottorino Respighi (The City of London Sinfonia Richard Hickox, conductor)


” Lauda per la Natività del Signore” Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi “Lauda per la Nativitá del Signore”
Patricia Rosario(soprano), Angel
Louise Winter(mezzo soprano), Mary
Lynton Atkinson(tenor), Shepherd
The Richard Hickox Singers
The City of London Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, conductor

The Lauda per la Natività del Signore (or Laud for the Nativity) is a beautiful pastoral work that depicts the nativity of Jesus as the shepherds might have seen it. Respighi employs several archaic forms and devices: madrigals (“Contenti ne andremo”), Monteverdi-like arioso (“Seignor tu sei descieso”), some plainchant, and even a touch of fugue in the “Gloria” section. In addition to chorus, a small wind orchestra and piano, the work features three soloists: soprano (“The Angel”), mezzo-soprano (“Mary”), and tenor (“The Shepherd”).

Respighi dedicated his Lauda per la Natività del Signore to Count Guido Chigi Saracini, founder of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. The work received its premiere in the count’s palace on St. Cecilia‘s Day, 1930, performed by the Piccolo Coro di Santa Cecilia under the direction of the composer; Elsa Respighi sang the role of Mary. A month later, on December 26, the work was first performed in Rome.

Fabulous musical moments: Ottorino Respighi Brazilian Impressions (Antal Dorati and The London Symphony Orchestra 1957)


Ottorino Respighi:  Brazilian Impressions (Antal Dorati/LSO)

Ottorino Respighi Brazilian Impressions
1. Tropical Night
2. Butantan
3. Song and Dance

Antal Dorati and The London Symphony Orchestra


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi (Italian: [ottoˈriːno resˈpiːɡi]; 9 July 1879 – 18 April 1936) was an Italian composer, musicologist and conductor. He is best known for his orchestral music, particularly the three Roman tone poems: Fountains of Rome (Fontane di Roma), Pines of Rome (I pini di Roma), and Roman Festivals (Feste romane). His musicological interest in 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century music led him to compose pieces based on the music of these periods. He also wrote a number of operas, the most famous of which is La fiamma.


Ottorino Respighi was born in Bologna, Italy. He was taught piano and violin by his father, who was a local piano teacher. He went on to study violin and viola with Federico Sarti at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, composition with Giuseppe Martucci, and historical studies with Luigi Torchi, a scholar of early music. A year after receiving his diploma in violin in 1899, Respighi went to Russia to be principal violist in the orchestra of the Russian Imperial Theatre in St Petersburg during its season of Italian opera. While there he studied composition for five months with Rimsky-Korsakov.

He then returned to Bologna, where he earned a second diploma in composition. Until 1908 his principal activity was as first violin in the Mugellini Quintet. In 1908-09 he spent some time performing in Germany before returning to Italy and turning his attention entirely to composition. Many sources indicate that while he was in Germany, he studied briefly with Max Bruch, but in her biography of the composer, Respighi’s wife asserts that this is not the case.[1]

During the second decade of the twentieth century, Respighi was active as a performer and composer. His compositions began to draw attention, and in 1913 he was appointed as teacher of composition at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1917 his international fame began to spread through multiple performances of the first of his Roman orchestral tone poems, Fountains of Rome. In 1919 he married a former pupil, the singer Elsa Olivieri-Sangiacomo. From 1923 to 1926 he was director of the Conservatorio. In 1925 he collaborated with Sebastiano Arturo Luciani on an elementary textbook entitled Orpheus. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Italy in 1932.

A visit to Brazil resulted in the composition Impressioni brasiliane (Brazilian Impressions). He had intended to write a sequence of five pieces, but by 1928 he had completed only three, and decided to present what he had. Its first performance was in 1928 in Rio de Janeiro. The first piece, “Tropical Night”, is a nocturne with fragments of dance rhythms suggested by the sensuous textures. The second piece is a sinister picture of a snake research institute, Instituto Butantan, that Respighi visited in São Paulo, with hints of birdsong (as in Pines of Rome). The final movement is a vigorous and colorful Brazilian dance.

On the ship back home from Brazil, Respighi met by chance with Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. During their long conversation, Fermi tried to get Respighi to explain music in terms of physics, which Respighi was unable to do. They remained close friends until Respighi’s death in 1936.[2]

Apolitical in nature, Respighi attempted to steer a neutral course after Benito Mussolini came to power in 1922. His established international fame allowed him some level of freedom but at the same time encouraged the regime to exploit his music for political purposes. Respighi vouched for more outspoken critics such as Arturo Toscanini, allowing them to continue to work under the regime.[3]

Feste Romane, the third of his Roman tone poems, was premiered by Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1929; Toscanini recorded the music twice for RCA Victor, first with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1942 and then with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1949. Respighi’s music had considerable success in the USA: the Toccata for piano and orchestra was premiered (with Respighi as soloist) under Willem Mengelberg with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in November 1928, and the large-scale theme and variations entitled Metamorphoseon was a commission for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Respighi was an enthusiastic scholar of Italian music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. He published editions of the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Vivaldi, and of Benedetto Marcello‘s Didone. His work in this area influenced his later compositions and led to a number of works based on early music, such as his three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances. In his Neoclassical works, Respighi generally kept clear of the musical idiom of the classical period, preferring to combine pre-classical melodic styles and musical forms (like dance suites) with typical late-19th-century romantic harmonies and textures.  He continued to compose and tour until January 1936, after which he became increasingly ill. A cardiac infection led to his death by heart failure on 18 April that year at the age of 56. A year after his burial, his remains were moved to his birthplace, Bologna, and reinterred at the city’s expense.




  • La Boutique fantasque (1918), borrows tunes from the 19th century Italian composer Rossini. Premiered in London on 5 June 1919.

  • Sèvres de la vieille France (1920), transcription of 17th-18th century French music

  • La Pentola magica (1920), based on popular Russian themes

  • Scherzo Veneziano (Le astuzie di Columbina) (1920)

  • Belkis, Regina di Saba (1931)


  • Preludio, corale e fuga (1901)

  • Aria per archi (1901)[5]

  • Leggenda for Violin and Orchestra P 36 (1902)[6]

  • Piano Concerto in A minor (1902)

  • Suite per archi (1902)[7]

  • Humoreske for Violin and Orchestra P 45 (1903)[8]

  • Concerto in la maggiore, for Violin and Orchestra (1903), completed by Salvatore Di Vittorio (2009)[9]

  • Fantasia Slava (1903)

  • Suite in E major (Sinfonia) (1903)

  • Serenata per piccola orchestra (1904)[10]

  • Suite in Sol Maggiore (1905), for organ and strings[11]

  • Ouverture Burlesca (1906)

  • Concerto all’antica for Violin and Orchestra (1908)

  • Ouverture Carnevalesca (1913)

  • Tre Liriche (1913), for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (Notte, Nebbie, Pioggia)[12]

  • Sinfonia Drammatica (1914)

  • Fountains of Rome (1916)

  • Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1 (1917), based on Renaissance lute pieces by Simone Molinaro, Vincenzo Galilei (father of Galileo Galilei), and additional anonymous composers.

  • Ballata delle Gnomidi (Dance of the Gnomes) (1920), based on a poem by Claudio Clausetti

  • Adagio con variazioni (1921), for Cello and Orchestra

  • Concerto Gregoriano for Violin and Orchestra (1921)

  • Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 2 (1923), based on pieces for lute, archlute, and viol by Fabritio Caroso, Jean-Baptiste Besard, Bernardo Gianoncelli, and an anonymous composer. It also interpolates an aria attributed to Marin Mersenne.

  • Pines of Rome (1924)

  • Concerto in modo misolidio (Concerto in the Mixolydian mode) (1925)

  • Poema autunnale (Autumn Poem), for Violin and Orchestra (1925)

  • Rossiniana (1925), free transcriptions from Rossini‘s Quelques riens (from Péchés de vieillesse)

  • Vetrate di chiesa (Church Windows) (1926), four movements of which three are based on Tre Preludi sopra melodie gregoriane for piano (1919)

  • Trittico Botticelliano (1927), three movements inspired by Botticelli paintings in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence: La Primavera, L’Adorazione dei Magi, La nascita di Venere; the middle movement uses the well-known tune Veni Emmanuel (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)

  • Impressioni brasiliane (Brazilian Impressions) (1928)

  • The Birds (1928), based on Baroque pieces imitating birds. It comprises Introduzione (Bernardo Pasquini), La Colomba (Jacques de Callot), La Gallina (Jean-Philippe Rameau), L’Usignolo (anonymous English composer of the seventeenth century) and Il Cucu (Pasquini)

  • Toccata for Piano and Orchestra (1928)

  • Roman Festivals (1928)

  • Metamorphoseon (1930)

  • Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 3 (1932), arranged for strings only and somewhat melancholy in overall mood. It is based on lute songs by Besard, a piece for baroque guitar by Ludovico Roncalli, lute pieces by Santino Garsi da Parma and additional anonymous composers.

  • Concerto a cinque (Concerto for Five) (1933), for Oboe, Trumpet, Piano, Viola d’amore, Double-bass, and Strings


  • Nebbie (1906), voice and piano

  • Stornellatrice (1906), voice and piano

  • Cinque canti all’antica (1906), voice and piano

  • Il Lamento di Arianna (1908), for mezzo-soprano and orchestra[13]

  • Aretusa (text by Shelley) (1911), cantata for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

  • Tre Liriche (1913), for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (Notte, Nebbie, Pioggia)[14]

  • La Sensitiva (The Sensitive Plant, text by Shelley) (1914), for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

  • Il Tramonto (The sunset, text by Shelley) (1914), for mezzo-soprano and string quartet (or string orchestra)

  • Cinque liriche (1917), voice and piano

  • Quattro liriche (Gabriele d’Annunzio) (1920), voice and piano

  • La Primavera (The Spring, texts by Constant Zarian) (1922) lyric poem for soli, chorus and orchestra

  • Deità silvane (Woodland Deities, texts by Antonio Rubino) (1925), song-cycle for soprano and small orchestra

  • Lauda per la Natività del Signore (Laud to the Nativity, text attributed to Jacopone da Todi) (1930), a cantata for three soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor), mixed chorus (including substantial sections for 8-part mixed and TTBB male chorus), and chamber ensemble (woodwinds and piano 4-hands)


  • String Quartet in D major in one movement (undated)

  • String Quartet No. 1 in D major (1892–98)

  • String Quartet No. 2 in B flat major (1898)

  • String Quartet in D major (1907)

  • String Quartet in D minor (1909) subtitled by composer “Ernst ist das Leben, heiter ist die Kunst”

  • Quartetto Dorico or Doric String Quartet (1924)

  • Tre Preludi sopra melodie gregoriane, for piano (1921)

  • Violin Sonata in B minor (1917)

  • Piano Sonata in F minor

  • Variazioni, for guitar

  • Double Quartet in D minor (1901)

  • Piano Quintet in F minor (1902)

  • Six Pieces for Violin and Piano (1901–06)

  • Quartet in D major for 4 Viols (1906)

  • Huntingtower: Ballad for Band (1932)

  • String Quintet for 2 Violins, 1 Viola & 2 Violoncellos in G minor (1901, incomplete)

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make music part of your life series: Alfredo Catalani “Prelude” Edmea


Alfredo Catalani “Prelude” Edmea

Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893), composer

Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893), composer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prelude from Edmea by Alfredo Catalani
Orchestra del Teratro del Giglio di Lucca
Massimo de Bernart, conductor
Luccs, IX. 1989

make music part of your life series: Jules Massenet – Le Cid – Ouverture


Jules MassenetLe Cid – Ouverture
Work: Le Cid, opéra in four acts, first performance 30 November 1885, Opéra, Paris.
***Libretto: Adolphe Philippe d’Ennery/Louis***

***Gallet/Edouard Blau after Pierre Corneille***
***Orchestra: Opera Orchestra of New York***
***Conductor: Eve Queler***



Saint of the Day July 3, 2014: St. Thomas

Saint of the Day

today’s holiday: Dog Days

Dog Days

The Dog Days are known as the hottest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and usually occur in July and early August. In ancient times, the sultry weather in Rome during these months often made people sick, which they blamed on the fact that this was when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose at about the same time as the sun. There are many different ways of calculating which days in any given year are the dog days, but it is impossible to be precise; nowadays it is generally assumed that they fall between July 3 and August 11—slightly later than they occurred in ancient times. More… Discuss

quotation: The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society. Ralph Waldo Emerson

quotation:  The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

todady’s birthday: Franz Kafka (1883)

Franz Kafka (1883)

Despite the fact that he published only a few short works during his lifetime, Kafka is regarded as one of the most influential 20th-century writers. In prose remarkable for its clarity and precision, Kafka presents a world that is at once real and dreamlike and in which individuals burdened with guilt, isolation, and anxiety make a futile search for personal salvation. What virtually insurmountable difficulties do translators face when converting Kafka’s works from German into English? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Hugh Capet Crowned King of France (987)

Hugh Capet Crowned King of France (987)

Capet was the son of Hugh the Great, to whose vast territories he succeeded in 956. After the death of Louis V, the last Carolingian king of France, the nobles and prelates elected Capet king—setting aside the last Carolingian claimant, Charles I, who proceeded to fight Capet through most of his reign. Capet ruled France from 987 to 996 and was succeeded by his son, whom he had crowned in 987 to secure the succession. Today, members of the Capetian dynasty are heads of state in what countries? More… Discuss

Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch

Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch

Coffee lovers of the world—nay, universe—rejoice! You will now be able to get a decent cup of joe in space. After decades of drinking subpar java, astronauts will finally have access to real Italian espresso in orbit. Engineers partnered with coffee giant Lavazza to design an espresso machine suitable for use on the International Space Station (ISS). The 44-pound (20-kg) “ISSpresso” machine is set to launch early next year on a cargo ship bound for the ISS, where Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy‘s first female astronaut, will also serve as the first space barista. More… Discuss

The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals, through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer one and not be scratched by it. While the varying hardness of stones was likely first explored around 300 BCE, German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs devised his scale in 1812. It uses 10 standards ranging from talc, the softest, with a value of 1, to diamond, the hardest, with a value of 10. Where does a fingernail fall on the Mohs scale? More… Discuss

word: canorous


Definition: (adjective) Richly melodious.
Synonyms: songful
Usage: When I sing in the shower, my off-key caterwauling takes on a surprisingly canorous tone. Discuss.

Sun Salutations Intermediate Yoga Class 49mins, Yoga Stories 2, Guru Mantra, Namaste Yoga 233


Sun Salutations Intermediate Yoga Class 49mins, Yoga Stories 2, GuruMantra, Namaste Yoga 233

Published on Jun 27, 2014

For show notes click on the link above

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Props Needed: Meditation Cushion or Blanket, Bolster or Wall,

Yoga Asanas/Postures: Alternate Nostril breathing with breath retention/Nadi Sodhana, Surya Namaskar/Sun Salutations, Reclined Hero Pose/Supta Virasana, Apanasana/Knee to Chest Pose, Supta Matsyendrasana/Crocodile Twist


The second class in our yoga stories series is the guru mantra. This mantra also focuses on the Hindu God‘s Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Today we will focus on how these gurus of creation, preservation and destruction show up in all areas of our lives. We will reflect back on our own experiences as see how each challenge in our life is an opportunity to learn.

Today’s yoga class will explore mantra and pranayama/breath practice as an opportunity to explore the gurus Braham, Vishnu and Shiva (creation, preservation and destruction). We will also explore these aspects through sun salutation/surya namaskar (creation), reclined hero pose/supta virasana (preservation) and poses for letting go (destruction).

Nigel Farage: Dave is whistling in the wind


Nigel Farage: Dave is whistling in the wind
Published on Jul 2, 2014

http://www.ukipmeps.org | @Nigel_Farage
European Parliament, Strasbourg, 02 July 2014

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy‘ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://www.nigelfaragemep.co.uk

• Bluecard question: Philippe LAMBERTS MEP (Belgium), Greens group

• Debate: Conclusions of the European Council meeting (26-27 June 2014)
European Council and Commission statements
In the presence of Mr Van Rompuy

Transcript here: http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_833_…
Video source: EbS (European Parliament)

EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom