Antiche Danze ed Arie per LiutoBack to all Works
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Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) prevails as the best-known Italian composer of the 20th Century. He achieved fame primarily with his triptych Fontane di Roma (1916), Pini di Roma (1923) and Feste Romane (1928). Respighi’s fascination for old music styles surfaces in many of his works. A considerable number are adaptations of Italian clavier and lute music from the Renaissance and baroque periods. Examples of this are Gli Uccelli (The Birds) and Antiche Danze ed Arie per Liuto. The latter was inspired by a collection of works for lute dating from the 16th and 17th Centuries. Respighi reworked these into a series of three suites consisting of four parts each. The first suite, originally for chamber orchestra, he composed in 1917 shortly after his successful Fontane di Roma. He based the first part on ballet music by Italian composer Simone Molinaro. The second part is an adaptation of a gagliarda by Vincenzo Galilei, father of physicist and astronomer Galileo. The final two parts are based on two anonymous works from the end of the 16th century: A Villanella and A Paso Mezzo e Mascherada. The suite premiered in Rome on December 17, 1917 and was a huge success. According to a statement by Respighi’s wife, the work was received with exceptional enthusiasm and the performance was given laudatory reviews.
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