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Travel Tip: Classical Music in United States
New York Philharmonic



New York Philharmonic: Renée Fleming, Soprano
UNITED STATES
NEW YORK  •  Avery Fisher Hall  •  Ongoing
 

Ottorino Respighi: Fountains of Rome (1917)

Anders Hillborg: The Strand Settings (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with Carnegie Hall)

Musorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition

New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Renée Fleming, soprano

Sometimes referred to as the "Roman Trilogy," Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) composed three tone poems that paint musical pictures of the Eternal City — each in four linked movements and each accompanied by a description of what the music is portraying. The first, The Fountains of Rome, was written in 1917 and refers to the architectural wonders by the Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Pines of Rome followed in 1924 with a subject from nature that, according to Respighi, inspires "memories and visions." And finally there was the 1928 Roman Festivals, which depicts Roman celebrations from antiquity to the composer's own time. In Fountains Respighi focuses on four magnificent aquatic landmarks "... contemplated at the hour in which their character is most in harmony with the surrounding landscape, or in which their beauty appears most impressive to the observer." Dawn casts its soft light on the Valle Giulia Fountain, still a pastoral landscape during the composer's time, complete with herds grazing in the "fresh, damp mists." The music is appropriately gentle and soft. Then a sudden shift in mood: morning light illuminates the Triton Fountain, where a half-man, half-fish god blows his conch shell to summon naiads, nymphs, and other creatures of the sea; the score is suitably splashy and noisy. The third movement majestically pictures the Trevi Fountain at midday, with Neptune riding a chariot drawn by sea horses, personified by trumpets and trombones. (Popular culture notes: in Fellini's film La Dolce Vita, the voluptuous Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni stand thigh-deep in the Trevi fountain; and the pop tune "Three Coins in a Fountain" also alludes to this touristy attraction). Respighi found twilight the ideal time for viewing the Fountain of the Villa Medici, which overlooks St. Peter's Basilica and the Castel Sant'Angelo. You'll hear tolling bells, bird songs, and rustling leaves at the "nostalgic time of sunset," as nighttime slowly envelopes the scene with a soft blanket of sound.



New York Philharmonic Website



Detailed schedule information:

8:00 pm

Contact: Avery Fisher Hall
Broadway and West 65th Street
New York, NY

Tel: (1) 212 875 56 56

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