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Ottorino Respighi

Donald Macleod begins his profile of one of Italy's most controversial composers with a portrait of Respighi's colourful and sometimes contradictory passions, including fine art, fairy tale, grand opera and antiquity.

Without the influence of his pupil, later his wife, Respighi might well have come off the rails. Donald Macleod evaluates the impact of Elsa Respighi on her husband's music.

He then charts Respighi's ever-complex relationships with his musical colleagues, critics, and the people of Rome, whose city he depicted in his most famous works.

Despite an awkward run-in with a ravenous press pack, Donald Macleod explains how Respighi's trans-Atlantic tours did much to bolster his reputation, charting the travels and the music which they helped to inspire.

Donald Macleod concludes by exploring Respighi's final years, including a stroll amongst the pines of Rome as depicted by one of the composer's greatest musical legacies.

Release date:


1 hour, 8 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer Ottorino Respighi