Respighi: Il Tramonto, etc
(Ian Belton, Paul Cassidy, et al; Brodsky String Quartet)
Here is a truly delightful disc, one that may well change a lot of people's notions regarding what kind of composer Respighi was. Yes, he was a master at creating sparkle, atmosphere, and grand effects in his orchestral music, but he had an intimate side as well. And he wore his heart on his sleeve. This disc presents a cross-section of his music for that most intimate and expressive of vehicles, the string quartet, consisting of the Quartet in D (1904-07), Il tramonto (1914)--which sets Shelley's The Sunset as a "lyric poem" for mezzo-soprano and string quartet--and the Quartetto dorico of 1924, the year Respighi's most famous work, Pines of Rome, received its premiere. Respighi was an accomplished violinist and violist. From 1903 to 1908, he was a member of the Quartetto Mugellini, so he really knew how to write for string foursome.