Ottarino Respighi: Italian Passion At Its Finest!
Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances" has been a favorite of mine for many years. I've heard numerous orchestral interpretations of it, and I'm always amazed at how each sounds so surprisingly different. The one to me that captures Respighi's passion at its most intense is from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra conducted by the indisputably brilliant Sir Neville Marriner. My advice to anyone who decides to take this one for a test drive: Pour yourself a glass of Sangiovese, dim the lights, light a few candles, and crank it up. It will exhilarate you, then break your heart. But in a GOOD way. ;)