Schtschedrin - Carmen-Suite / Respighi - Pini di Roma

Two live recordings with orchestral works by Rodion Schtschedrin and Ottorino Respighi, perfomed by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the conduction of Mariss Jansons.

Two famous orchestral works that were written in the 20th century but breathe the spirit of nineteenth-century music can be heard on this CD from BR-KLASSIK: the ballet music “Carmen Suite”, based on the famous melodies from George Bizet’s eponymous opera and masterfully arranged and adapted by the composer Rodion Shchedrin in 1968, and Ottorino Respighi’s well-known symphonic poem “Pini di Roma” (The Pines of Rome), written in 1924.

The Russian composer and pianist Rodion Shchedrin has had a long and highly creative career. Born in 1932 and now advanced in years, he lives and works in his native Moscow, having written several operas and ballets, orchestral works, concertos and piano pieces. In Russia, he and his works are well known; in the West, his name has been connected with his popular “Carmen Suite” ever since its first performance, and the work has firmly established itself in the concert hall as well as on the ballet stage. The thirteen movements of this ballet music for string orchestra and percussion, based on Bizet’s opera melodies from 1875, were carefully adapted to the musical language of the present day. After Shchedrin’s wife Maya Plisetskaya, long-time prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre, had vainly asked both Shostakovich and Khachaturian to compose a “Carmen” ballet especially for her, her husband decided to do so instead – a decision that was rewarded with international success. The rousing music in Shchedrin’s interpretation sounds very familiar, yet in many ways, entirely new!

Ottorino Respighi was a respected Italian composer who wrote operas, ballets and instrumental music, but always suffered slightly from the fact that even though he was fully appreciated for his masterly orchestration and instrumentation, his compositions did not achieve the greater popularity they deserved. However, the symphonic poems in his “Roman Trilogy”, which deal with the fountains, pine trees and festivals of his adopted home city of Rome, became world-famous and made his name immortal. Written eight years after his rippling “Fountains of Rome” (1916), Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” describes four locations in the Eternal City, each with a different historical background. Children play under the pines in the gardens of the Villa Borghese; a solemn hymn can be heard from inside an ancient catacomb; up on Rome’s Janiculum Hill, the pines wave gently in the moonlight and we hear a nightingale singing; and finally, from the morning mists on the Appian Way, we hear the rhythm of countless soldiers marching, as a consul leads his army in triumph up the Capitoline Hill.

The recordings of these two orchestral works with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the direction of Mariss Jansons were made at concerts in November 2017 in the Philharmonie im Gasteig (Shchedrin) and, very recently, in May 2019 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz (Respighi). On this CD is one of the last recordings with Mariss Jansons from May 2019 (Pini di Roma). The CD production was already disposed in autumn 2019.

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Mariss Jansons, conductor

1 CD highprice
Product Number: 900183
Total Time: 60:09 min.


    • Outstanding performances of two important compositions from the 20th-century symphonic repertoire
    • Recent live recordings from Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig (November 2017, Shchedrin) and the Herkulessaal of the Residenz (May 2019, Respighi)
    • Performed by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons