Rudolf Hradil Pinien Villa Borghese Salzburg Whitsun Festival 2021
Rudolf Hradil, Pinien, Villa Borghese, Aquarell, 1996
Roma è una madre,
ed è la madre ideale perché
indifferente. È una madre
che ha troppi figli, e quindi
non può dedicarsi a te,
non ti chiede nulla,
non si aspetta niente.
Federico Fellini
Whitsunfestival 2021

About the Production

Children play boisterous games between their trunks in the Villa Borghese; as sentinels of death they shade the entrance to a catacomb; in a cloudless night at full moon their tops sway to the song of the nightingale on the Janiculum hill, and along the Appian Way they stand watch in the early morning mist as silent witnesses of history over the Roman Campagna: the Roman pines in Ottorino Respighi’s four-movement symphonic tone poem Pini di Roma. Rich in a variety of stylistic influences, this neoclassical-Romantic programme music forms a ‘Roman trilogy’ together with the Fontane di Roma and the Feste Romane. With these works Respighi, who was a native of Bologna but had taught composition in Rome since 1913, pays musical tribute to his new adoptive home, at the same time creating the cornerstone of his oeuvre.
Felix Mendelssohn described his journey to Italy in 1831 as ‘the most wonderful combination of gaiety and seriousness’, inspiring him to write his Fourth Symphony, known as the ‘Italian’. Without illustrating a concrete programme, it reflects the 21-year-old composer’s exhilaration and deep emotion stirred by the art and landscapes he was experiencing. By contrast, work on his Violin Concerto op. 64 was a long drawn out and painful process. The result, however, bears witness to his innovative mastery and is especially memorable for its flowing melodies.

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