Riccardo Muti takes us on a journey to his native country while accompanied by Austria’s most illustrious orchestra. The Neapolitan conductor is one among many musicians to have fallen in love with the warmth of Italy. Italy’s landscapes and ancient ruins fulfilled Europeans’ thirst for the exotic. Mendelssohn, for one, drew inspiration to compose his “Italian” Fourth Symphony, which is imbued with the radiant memory of his journey. The music of Bolognese composer Ottorino Respighi also conveys colour; his exquisite orchestral tones recreate the pastoral atmosphere of the Italian capital in his famous Roman trilogy. His Fountains of Rome and Roman Festivals are drawn from the trilogy and reveal the charm he felt; a composition at the crossroads of romanticism, impressionism and neo-classicalism.
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