Concertisti Classica, la musica classica in Italia
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Ottorino Respighi
The Italian composer, who at only 19, impressed Korsakov.
Bologna 1879 - Rome 1936.
Ottorino Respighi, one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, not only Italians, was hired as a violinist at the Imperial Theater in Petersburg for the Italian Opera Season (from September 1898 to June 1900) when he was just 19, joining the long tradition of Italian musicians active in Russia since the end of the 17th century. During this trip, he got to know Rimsky-Korsakov from whom he received numerous advice on the art of orchestrating and from whom he acquired that ease in the use of harmonic stylistic features that went beyond tonality. Rimsky-Korsakov's line is famous, according to which the Russian composer, always surrounded by admirers and students eager to let him read his works, once he had glanced at Respighi's score, got up, went to the door of the anteroom and said aloud: "I won't receive anyone for today!" He composed the plays:
  • Belfagor (1923),
  • The submerged bell (1927),
  • The flame (1934),
The ballet
  • La boutique fantasque (1920, on themes by G. Rossini),
The symphonic poems
  • The fountains of Rome (1917),
  • Pini di Roma (1924),
  • Church windows (1926-27),
  • Roman festivals (1928),
The suites
  • Ancient dances and arias for lute (2 series, 1918 and 1923), and Gli Uccelli (1928), and the Botticellian triptych for small orchestra (1927);
Concerts for piano and violin, the Toccata for piano and small orchestra (1928), some chamber works (especially the Sonata in B minor for violin and piano, 1916–17), and many lyrics for voice and piano. He also left behind revisions and transcriptions of ancient music.


The attendance of Rimsky-Korsakov lasted only five months, enough for Respighi to learn compositional techniques that developed throughout his career, influencing the composition of Preludio, Corale and Fuga which in 1901 led him to obtain a diploma in composition.

Source: Classical Concertists

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