Ottorino Respighi

(1879—1936) Italian composer

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(b Bologna, 1879; d Rome, 1936).

It. composer, conductor, string‐player, pianist, and teacher. Went to St Petersburg 1900 as first va. in opera orch. and from 1901 studied with Rimsky‐Korsakov, then in Berlin with Bruch, 1902. From 1903 to 1908 pursued career as violinist and violist and was pianist at Berlin singing‐sch. 1908–9. Prof. of comp. at Liceo di S. Cecilia, Rome, 1913; orch. 1924–6. His mus., though based on classical forms, was influenced by the brighter colours of Rimsky‐Korsakov and Strauss, and his symphonic poems are notable for their brilliant and luscious scoring. In his operas he reacted against Puccinian ‘realism’, but they are more impressive orchestrally than vocally. Some of his most tender and exquisite work is to be found in his shorter vocal pieces. Prin. works:


Re Enzo






La bella dormente nel boscoLa campana sommersa

(1916–21); (The Sunken Bell) (1923–7);

Maria Egiziaca


La Fiamma





La Boutique fantasque

(The Fantastic Toyshop) adapted from mus. by Rossini (1919);

Belkis, Regina di Saba





Sinfonia drammatica


Fountains of Rome Fontane di Roma

() (1914–16);

Ancient Airs and Dances

, transcr. for orch., 1st series (1917), 2nd series (1924), 3rd series (str.) (1931);

Ballata delle gnomidi


Pines of Rome Pini di Roma

() (1923–4);


(from Rossini pf. pieces) (1925);

Vetrate di Chiesa

(Church Windows), 4 symphonic impressions (1925);

Impressione brasiliane

, sym. suite (1927);

Trittico Botticelliano


The Birds Gli uccelli

() (1927);

Feste Romane

(Roman Festivals) (1928);

Metamorphosen modi XII



etc.: pf. conc. (1902);

Concerto in the Old Style

, vn. (1908);

Adagio con variazioni

, vc. (1920);

Concerto Gregoriano

, vn. (1921);

Concerto in modo misolidio

, pf., orch. (1925);

Poema autunnale

, vn., orch. (1920–5);


, pf., orch. (1928); conc. for ob., tpt., vn., db., pf., str. (1933).

voice(s) & orch.:


, mez., orch. (1911);

La primavera

, soloists, ch., orch. (1918–19);

Il Tramonto

, mez., str. qt. (1914);

Deità silvane

, sop., pf. (1917), high v., chamber ens. (1925);

Lauda per la natività del Signore

, sop., cont., ten., ch., orch. (1928–30).

chamber music:

11 pieces, vn., pf. (1904–7); str. qt. (1907); vn. sonata (1917); Doric str. qt. (1924).



Monteverdi: (1935);

Lamento d'Arianna DidoneSoirées musicalesLa Boutique fantasquePrelude and Fugue

(1908); Marcello: , cantata (1935); Rossini: for ballet (1919); J. S. Bach: in D, for orch. (1930);

3 Organ Chorals

, for orch. (1931);


in C minor, for orch. (1934); Vitali: , for vn., str., org. (1909).

Subjects: Music.

Reference entries