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For those fond of the programmatic bombast of Pini di Roma, the opening of this complete recording of Respighi’s organ works will come as a shock. Hardly a figure associated with the organ, the first of his three Pezzi could have come from the pen of Max Reger, so tortuous are its myriad modulations. The Giazotto-esque melody of the Aria in G minor is heard here twice: in its guise as the second movement of the Suite for Organ and Strings, and in a solo organ arrangement by Ireneo Fuser. Another interesting inclusion is the later 1914 version of the opening movement of the Suite, recorded for the first time and some 28 bars longer than the 1906 original. The remainder of the œuvre consists largely of miniatures including the Five Preludes, some of which are little more than contrapuntal studies and whose attribution remains unconfirmed. Andrea Macinanti performs with commitment and with heart suitably on sleeve. The strings of the Academia Symphonica of Udine provide capable and enthusiastic support in the Suite.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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