RESPIGHI Brazilian Impressions

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 Saint Petersburg during its season of Italian opera. While there he studied composition for five months with Rimsky-Korsakov. 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.


VIDEO:Ottorino Respighi Brazilian Impressions 1. Tropical Night 2. Butantan 3. Song and Dance Antal Dorati and The London Symphony Orchestra 1957

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