I wanted to start something new for the blog… A discussion and promotion of music that I enjoy. And it doesn’t always have to have a direct political connection.
But the first in the series kinda does? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Upon hearing the news that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has picked State AG Jeffrey Chiesa to be the Interim United States Senator, one of my favorite musical works flooded the old noggin. BTW congratulations Garden Staters, you’ve got a Republican in the Senate… at least for a brief period.
Vetrate di Chiesa (Church Windows) is an orchestral suite by Italian Composer Ottorino Respighi. He’s perhaps best known for his other orchestral work, the Pines of Rome. But this piece from 1926 is every bit at as exciting as his other works, or anything else in the era of Neo-Classicism. In fact, many would separate his work aside from the Neo-Classicist composers (Stravinsky, Satie, Hindemith) because of his careful study of older composers like Vivaldi and Marcello. It’s an on-going debate among Musicologists.
The second movement, Saint Michael the Archangel, is a particular favorite with its huge wind and string flourishes over a relentless brass phalanx. The sense of visual imagery created (you literally see the stirring of a thunder storm from the sounds) remind us just how masterful Repsighi’s orchestration abilities were. And this piece was in fact orchestrated, as it was originally based off of a piano etude he had composed years before in 1919.
One more interesting fact… though Respighi himself was born in 1879 and died in 1936, his wife Elsa lived until 1996, reaching the tender age of 102. She was a tireless champion of the composer’s work.
Well anyway, check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!!