“The elegiac mood heightened by a live performance of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and conducted with dramatic precision by Salvatore Di Vittorio, a native of Palermo, Italy, clothed in finest conductor garb.”

Godfrey Deeny, Fashion Network, Paris

“The young players of the Chamber Orchestra of New York then come into their own with some fine solo playing, particularly from the flute, as Pike pirouettes lissomly around them (the recording is clear and well balanced).”

Tim Homfray, Strad Magazine, London

“I am delighted to have another splendid version of this long-awaited tone poem [The Solent]. The playing [on the CD] is excellent and reflects a great sympathy towards English music by this orchestra from New York.”

John France, Music-Web International, London

“The natural beauty of the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams finds a magnificent support in the Chamber Orchestra of New York, a formation of a very high level that in a few years will be on top, like the violin Lark that rises on this very disc.”

Forum Clasico, Madrid

“Here one can get a sense of these chamber pieces within a specific understanding of the Neo-Baroque style of this composer by committed orchestra and by a conductor intimately connected to the editions used here, Salvatore Di Vittorio.”

Steven A. Kennedy, Cinemusical

“Respighi left [this] his first of four works for violin and orchestra, unfinished in 1903. …Completed by Salvatore di Vittorio, the [Violin Concerto in A Major] is an attractive work that grows on repeated hearing.”

The Strad, London

“Thanks to the enthusiasm of Salvatore Di Vittorio and the Chamber Orchestra of New York we now have an early Respighi Violin Concerto, completed by the conductor, with a selection of other orchestral works.”

New Zealand Herald

“This great concerto is quite colorful, and played here with much passion by the Chamber Orchestra of New York. Di Vittorio has done a great job!

Pizzicato Magazine, Luxembourg

“Salvatore di Vittorio proves more and more to be an important Italian composer. Following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor Ottorino Respighi, with his Overture Respighiana, one can also find hints of Scarlatti and Rossini or even Mahler in his narrative and elegiac music. [He] has composed an album of assured popularity.”

Qubuz Magazine, Paris

“Mr. Di Vittorio led his ensemble in the final concert of its inaugural season in a program called “Souvenir from Florence”, which highlighted the string section. The musicians played with vigor and commitment throughout the evening, producing a polished, rich sound. The Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5…received a stirring performance. The orchestra concluded the evening with a voluptous rendition of Tchaikovsky’s popular “Souvenir de Florence.”
Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times
“Respighi’s Baroque leanings in his Aria and Suite for strings contrast with the out-and-out Romanticism of his Violin Concerto. Predating the Fountains of Rome by some years, the concerto inhabits a similar world of sound artfully allied to the dynamism familiar from violin concertos by Mendelssohn, Bruch and Brahms, together with the clarity of orchestration that Respighi inherited from Rimsky-Korsakov. Left unfinished in 1903, the concerto has been completed by Salvatore Di Vittorio, and its performance here is spirited.”

Geoffrey Norris, The DailyTelegraph, London

“Laura Marzadori, joined by the Chamber Orchestra of New York, presents a magnificent account [of the Violin Concerto]. The work, written in 1903, was revised and completed by composer/conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, who directed its premiere last year. The Concerto also foreshadows the orchestral technicolour of the great Italian composer’s Roman Trilogy.”

Gavin Engelbrecht, The Northern Echo, London

“Top billing on Naxos’ cover goes to The Lark Ascending. Sina Kloke plays with agreeable discernment and assurance both here and in the early Fantasia. Salvatore Di Vittorio and his Chamber Orchestra of New York tender spirited support. In The Lark Ascending, Jennifer Pike soars aloft most bewitchingly and is ably partnered by Di Vittorio and company.”

Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone Magazine, London

“Salvatore di Vittorio [and the orchestra] serve up a program of (mostly) rare delights by Ralph Vaughan Williams that we ought to hear more often. Violinist Jennifer Pike is keenly aware of her instrument’s vital role in introducing and linking each theme [of The Lark Ascending] with delicate soliloquies. Her long fade-out at the very end is simply superb.”

Audio Club of Atlanta

“Sina Kloke plays [Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra] with aplomb, never letting the dense textures overwhelm her, and she handles the cute Six Short Pieces for solo piano with finesse. Conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio deserves credit for his daring programming, and his interpretations certainly capture each piece well.”

David Hurwitz, Classics Today, New Hampshire

“This performance [of The Lark Ascending] is most attractive. Salvatore Di Vittorio [captures] the quintessential Englishness from his young orchestra.”

David’s Review Corner

“There’s a lean and translucent quality to their sound that’s particularly successful in a work such as The Birds in which the scoring is so deft and agile. Trittico Botticelliano is a masterpiece of ingenious orchestration on a small scale. Interpretations of both these works are wonderfully detailed, and the youthful orchestra plays well in a slightly unforgiving acoustic.”

Robert Johnson, Radio New Zealand

“One of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Di Vittorio makes no bones about his commitment to the music of Respighi or the marked influence of that figure on his outlook as a composer. (His own Third Symphony is called “Temples of Sicily,” a subtitle that would have appealed greatly to his famous predecessor.) These are vibrant performances of some of Respighi?s most attractive music. The early Serenata for Small Orchestra (1904) imitates the sound of Renaissance guitar in a four-minute work of much persuasive charm. Suite in G major for Organ and Strings (1905) pays eloquent homage to Respighi?s predecessors, particularly Bach, Corelli, and Frescobaldi, as the organ, played with power and probity by Kyler Brown, interacts with the string orchestra to create an abundance of deeply moving harmonies and textures.”

Phil Muse, Audio Video Club of Atlanta

“No recordings known to me reach a similar level of orchestral transparency. Di Vittorio illuminates the musical paintings [in Trittico Botticelliano] with a strong light; he doesn’t use LED as this would not allow the light of the full spectrum. Bright is clear, but not crude. In this interpretation, all colors obtain their full value, and the music calls, with extraordinary detail, a feeling of warmth. Also “Gli Uccelli” obtains a new layer of renovating paint, resulting in a deep penetrating cleaning. Each of the portrayed fowls is treated species-appropriately, and Respighi’s musical markings are expressed elaborately. Again, I have never before heard so many details in this work.”

Remy Franck, Pizzicato Magazine, Luxenbourg (Translation: Meike Dittman)

“Luminous Respighi. This recording of the Three Botticelli Pictures has got to be the most texturally detailed, luminous, substantial performance yet captured on disc. Conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio makes sure that every strand of Respighi’s remarkable orchestration stands out in high relief, from the shockingly vivid violin trills at the start of “Spring” to the gently pulsating but constantly shifting motion of the waves in “The Birth of Venus”. It’s an amazing achievement, one that elevates a work all too easily dismissed as a sugary-sweet musical bon-bon. You can’t help but be impressed.”
David Hurwitz, Classics Today, New Hampshire
“Two of Respighi’s best-known works conducted by Salvatore Di Vittorio, the Italian musician specially commissioned by the composer’s family to promote his works. This new edition also comes from the conductor who has at his disposal the highly commended Chamber Orchestra of New York. They have the warmth of tonal quality required, while able to produce the required transparency when the music grows in intensity. The recording is unexaggerated and of a nice ambience.”
David Denton, David’s Review Corner, Cambridge
“Italian-born composer and conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio was awarded the Medal of Palermo by Mayor Leoluca Orlando. Mayor Orlando recognized the great importance of the Palermo-born composer, a promoter of the city of Palermo around the world. Di Vittorio’s publisher Francesco Panasci of Panastudio was present for the event.”
Il Moderatore, Palermo
“Di Vittorio has already published seven critical editions of Respighi’s works for the Palermo-based publisher Panastudio, including the Violin Concerto in A Major which he has already recorded for Naxos Records with the Chamber Orchestra of New York. Though [the Concerto] is more classical than impressionistic, it foreshadows images in Fountains of Rome.”
Alessandra Sciortino, La Repubblica, Rome
“Dai Pini di Roma ai Templi di Sicilia (From the Pines of Rome to the Temples of Sicily)…Di Vittorio’s completion of Respighi’s Violin Concerto not only foreshadows Pines of Rome, but returns us to the concerto writing of such masters as Vivaldi if not Mendelssohn. During the compositional process….Di Vittorio discovered a musical connection between his [earlier] Second Symphony and Pines of Rome. His Third Symphony “Temples of Sicily” is homage on the temples which raise the pride of Sicily: the Temples of Venus at Naxos, Apollo at Siracuse, Vittoria at Himera, Diana at Segesta and Corcordia at Agrigento.”
Il Giornale di Sicilia, Palermo
“Top billing goes to Salvatore Di Vittorio’s completion of the Violin Concerto that the 24-year-old Respighi left unfinished in 1903, having composed the first two movements and just a few bars of the finale. Laura Marzadori proves a big-hearted, assertive soloist. The concerto is framed by Di Vittorio’s transcriptions of the mellifluous Aria from 1901 and the 1902 Suite for strings, the latter a pleasingly inventive creation whose second movement “Siciliana” and concluding “Rigaudon” in particular suggest a more than passing acquaintance with Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Di Vittorio secures a tidy response from his young New York band.”
Gramophone Magazine, London
“These works by Salvatore Di Vittorio are unabashedly tonal, traditional, and Italian. His style employs a great deal of chromaticism but also has a swelling lyricism. Overtura Respighiana has a startling direct reference to the beginning of Pines of Rome, and Di Vittorio’s love of Respighi permeates this bright piece. Sinfonia No. 1 also has a Respighian quality, with additional allusions to Vivaldi and Alessandro Scarlatti. Di Vittorio delivers a Verdian gesture in his Ave Maria. The clean, incisive clarinet playing of Benjamin Baron in the engaging Clarinet Sonata is a bracing contrast. He’s only one guy, but he shows how it’s done… [The Respighi CD] is a splendid program, beautifully played and very well recorded. Di Vittorio did quite a bit of extrapolation to complete the finale [of the Violin Concerto]. The result is a delightful work, light, airy, and bucolic, with moments that remind us of Vaughan Williams. It’s a modest 21-minute work with cheerful, sunny outer Allegros flanking a beautiful, lyrical slow movement. Miss Marzadori plays with a warm, nuanced, unforced tone and gets secure, sympathetic support from Di Vittorio and the orchestra. Di Vittorio did some revising [on the Suite for strings], just as he transcribed the luscious Aria [which] reminds me of an Italianate analog to Sibelius’s Andante Festivo. This music…would add luster to a concert program of any size string ensemble.”
American Record Guide, Cincinnati
“What is most striking about the pieces on this [Respighi] CD is how unlike those famous works they are, in sound and style. A good percentage of this music has been rescued by Salvatore Di Vittorio, who is credited with completing some of the orchestrations. He has reinvigorated [these] works such as the Violin Concerto, completing the last movement. It is quite beautiful and well worth our attention. The orchestral playing is solid.”
Limelight Magazine, Australia
“Di Vittorio has been entrusted with the revisions of early Respighi works. This Respighi CD should probably be re-named Respighi/Di Vittorio, since ¾ of the CD, in fact, maintains a strong presence of Di Vittorio’s compositional hand. However, Di Vittorio’s completion of the first Violin Concerto does not affect Respighi’s original musical vision. This is a wonderful accomplishment by the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and talented soloist Laura Marzadori.”
Musica Progetto, Naples (Italy)
“In a disc of his own music, Di Vittorio conducts a brilliant and sparkling semi-pastiche overture and two symphonies, which are pictorial-philosophical, using many of the significant tropes of late Romantic and neo-Romantic music from Mahler to Barber, to create very tonal, approachable works distinguished by his very Respighian sense of orchestral color…. The Respighi Violin Concerto is gently lyrical and, as always, conscious of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque eras although not to the extent of [his other violin concerti]. ”
Records International, Tucson
“Respighi’s sumptuous skills are well represented here…in this disc…an initiative by Salvatore Di Vittorio, an Italian conductor active in the U.S. This recording is important because Di Vittorio has recorded the world premiere of lesser known Respighi works, such as the first Concerto for Violin in A Major, revised and completed by him from the original manuscripts. A very risky operation, accomplished with intelligence….Bologna violinist, Laura Marzadori, gives an interpretation full of momentum, driving, not devoid of attention to the lyrical style that constitutes one of the remarkable aspects of [this] composer.”
Chiara Sink, L’Informazione di Bologna
“Overtura Respighiana…is a devilishly delightful concoction that plays on Respighi’s Rossiniana and Pines of Rome, fusing them with references to Di Vittorio’s own music, to create a kind of freshly minted Boutique fantasque. The brilliant swatches of instrumental color Di Vittorio weaves into and through the striking musical tapestry [of his Second Symphony] is reminiscent of Respighi’s way with the orchestral palette. His Ave Maria first…struck my ears as fairly dissonant…but as the piece unfolded, emerging from the harmonic counterpoint were passages that, with just a few minor adjustments to the voice leading, sounded as if they might have come from a cappella moments in Verdi’s Requiem…The effects of Di Vittorio’s piece are quite arresting, simultaneously stark and austere yet illuminated from within by a shimmering light that leads to a most meltingly beautiful cadential Amen. [Respighi’s] spirit hovers over [Sinfonia No. 1] in the luminous divided string writing and exquisite chiaroscuro effects. The music is sad, to be sure, even brooding, but more than once it put me in mind of Barber’s Adagio for Strings, a piece that is somehow uplifting in its tragedy. Di Vittorio proves himself…to be a composer of beautiful music extraordinaire. The Respighi [Violin] Concerto inhabits a world of lyrical sunshine that plays on the senses like a fresh breeze bearing scents of an Italian vineyard in spring. Thanks to the efforts of Di Vittorio, and the capable hands and sensitive voice of violinist Laura Marzadori, this romantically expressive score is brought to us complete for the first time. The [Suite for strings] is given…in a delightful performance by Di Vittorio’s orchestra.”
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine, New Jersey
“Devotees of opulent romanticism will particularly enjoy this enterprising programme…Chamber Orchestra of New York [is] already a fine ensemble. Most of the music is backward-looking pasticherie that will appeal particularly to readers who prefer their Baroque and Classical on modern instruments. The exception is the unfinished Violin Concerto, a fascinating discovery brought to life by Di Vittorio who has done a magnificent job of realizing and expanding upon the existing material.”
Julian Haylock, Classic FM Magazine, London
“Di Vittorio…is a musician of remarkable attainment. In his two short symphonies, he emerges as a composer of prodigious imagination and talent, generally tonal—though unafraid of dissonance and having occasional, though rare, flirtations with atonality. Some of Charles Ives’ blood, as well as Respighi’s, seem to course through his veins. The sense of color and shape, and the alternation of two-voice textures with various fuller orchestral sonorities in Lost Innocence, are impressive. The [Preludio from his] first symphony, Isolation…is superbly idiomatic and richly expressive. Di Vittorio’s prowess as a conductor is a complement to his compositional acumen…Whatever influences…the music is compellingly original…His Ave Maria for women’s voices seems to take Josquin’s much more patently linear setting as a point of departure, with some faint echoes of Verdi. But this music isn’t derivative: it is cast in a highly original musical language. Like Renaissance motets, it is put together in sections — in line with the text. DiVittorio seems, in a way, to write for chorus much as Frederick Delius did—that is, as if for strings. It is the same expressive quality that imbues his instrumental music, but it comes across in a refreshingly different way.”
Chris Hathaway, Houston Public Radio-NPR, Texas
“The beauty of the Violin Concerto’s composition makes clear its connection with Vivaldi, a work which has been orchestrated and completed via its third movement by the conductor on this recording, Salvatore Di Vittorio, who attentively maintains the nature and integrity of the work. In the Aria for strings the connection is then made for Corelli and Frescobaldi, while the Suite for strings returns to ancient music, as is evident with the development of the [titles of] its six movements.”
Ducale Music, Varese
“This album is both by and for Respighi fanatics. It features the Chamber Orchestra of New York – Ottorino Respighi, founded to promote his music in 2006 by Salvatore di Vittorio, a Sicilian-born composer and conductor who has also completed a number of Respighi’s unfinished scores. The disc’s raison d’être…is Di Vittorio’s performing version of the Violin Concerto in A, left incomplete in 1903. The influence of Rimsky-Korsakov, Respighi’s teacher from 1900 to 1902, is apparent in the Slavonic inflections of the thematic material, but in essence, it’s a big, late Romantic concerto, reminiscent of Brahms. Laura Marzadori does some nice things with it – the ornate slow movement is particularly refined – though neither she nor Di Vittorio’s orchestra are helped by the close, very dry recording. The Aria for strings and Suite for strings, both scrupulously played, are attractive early exercises in Respighi’s pseudo baroque style…”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, London
“The most noteworthy piece on this disc of Respighi rarities and premiere recordings is the early Violin Concerto, revised and completed by conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio. The first two movements are complete, the finale sketched out as to its initial thematic material. Di Vittorio has completed it quite effectively by turning it into a rondo based on the tunes of the earlier movements, a process very similar to that found in, say, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto or Bartók’s Second for that instrument. Suffice it to say that the piece sounds like genuine Respighi, with anticipations of such characteristic moments as the catacombs in The Pines of Rome. Laura Marzadori plays the piece very well, with a nice balance of lyrical fulsomeness and virtuoso flashiness. For fans of the composer this disc is a must, and I also can see the opening Aria for strings getting a good bit of radio play. It’s a charmer.”
Classics Today, David Hurwitz, New Hampshire
“[The Orchestra’s] enthusiasm and that of their conductor is indisputable. His revisions, transcriptions and completions are sensitive to Respighi’s Neo-Baroque style…Laura Marzadori gives a most compelling reading [of the Violin Concerto], tenderly romantic in the slow movement and passionate in the exuberant finale. She is given sterling support by the talented and enthusiastic young orchestra and by the dedication of Di Vittorio… [Rossiniana] is a warm-hearted, breezy performance that competes well with other recordings…The recorded sound is first class…A notable release for Respighi enthusiasts.”
Ian Lace, MusicWeb-International, London
“Salvatore Di Vittorio…has a growing portfolio of major scores. As you will discover, his famous predecessor, Ottorino Respighi, has been a major inspiration, and written in homage the Overtura Respighiana which employs material from the Pines of Rome and La Boutique Fantasque in a happy and very lively score. Created within the bounds of tonality, the [first Sinfonia’s] four movements are subdivided by changing moods, though it is the mix of foreboding and desolation that makes the work a moving experience. It …came three years before the Second with the title, ‘Lost Innocence’ , a score engendered by the Yugoslav civil wars in the 1990’s. Strong and powerful, it tells a story of death and destruction, but where innocence offers hope for the future. A short a capella Ave Maria for female voices, started life in 1995, the same year that saw work began on the Sonata for solo clarinet. In three short movements it is lyrical and often meditative. With Di Vittorio conducting the orchestra he founded, we can take the disc as being a benchmark. It impresses by its dynamic range and subtle colours, while the soloist in the sonata, Benjamin Baron, is also the orchestra’s principal clarinet. The recording, made in early 2010, is open in texture and of pleasing quality.”
David Denton, David’s Review Corner, Cambridge
“The scoop: With this CD the repertoire finds Respighi channeling Italian baroque composers, namely Vivaldi, Corelli and Rossini, through the colorful prism of Respighi’s musical mind. A highlight of this recording is the playing by the Chamber Orchestra of New York, whose goal is fronting the work of Respighi and other Italian composers. The orchestra and soloist Marzadori prove more than up to the task. Highlight: Violin Concerto. Left unfinished by the composer in 1903, this concerto gets a revision and completion here. The work shifts from a frothy buoyancy to dark, luscious moments. The concerto is warmly performed by Marzadori, especially the poignant and unforgettable nine-minute second movement.”
Edward Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, California
“Salvatore di Vittorio proves more and more to be an important Italian composer. Following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor Ottorino Respighi, with his Overture Respighiana, one can also find hints of Scarlatti and Rossini or even Mahler in his narrative and elegiac music. [He] has composed an album of assured popularity.”
Qubuz Magazine, Paris
“You might almost guess the title of the light and sparklingly playful Overtura Respighiana from the first few bars – the Roman trilogy is much in evidence. Later on the older composer’s dreaminess and Rossinian tarantella tendencies are referenced. All uproarious fun… The Ave Maria for female choir…may be thought of as a modern echo of the Monteverdian madrigal. Exalted stuff. The First Symphony is for string orchestra. Its four movements range from a dazzlingly concentrated Barber-like Preludio to an at times shudderingly emotional and then reserved Passacaglia. The little Fuga skims along towards the almost equally short and gleamingly moonlit Finale. This is music that it is not difficult to like.”
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb-International, London
“So famous is Respighi for the Pines and Fountains of Rome — irresistible orchestral showpieces — and, to a lesser extent, the Ancient Airs and Dances and Church Windows and Roman Festivals that his unfinished Violin Concerto (among 200 Respighi compositions) didn’t stand much of a chance. With the work now revised and completed by this disc’s conductor, Salvatore DiVittorio, along with Respighi’s Aria and Suite for strings and Rossiniana…, you can’t help but respond with fascination to a composer too often dismissed as a master orchestrator without substance. He’s one of the great charmers, it seems to me.”
Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News, Buffalo
“Respighi’s Baroque leanings in his Aria and Suite for strings contrast with the out-and-out Romanticism of his Violin Concerto. Predating the Fountains of Rome by some years, the concerto inhabits a similar world of sound artfully allied to the dynamism familiar from violin concertos by Mendelssohn, Bruch and Brahms, together with the clarity of orchestration that Respighi inherited from Rimsky-Korsakov. Left unfinished in 1903, the concerto has been completed by Salvatore Di Vittorio, and its performance here is spirited.”
Geoffrey Norris, The DailyTelegraph, London
“Following the principal, which says, that you are always best served by yourself, music director Salvatore di Vittorio (1967), is conducting here the works of Salvatore di Vittorio. That said, the musical influences declared by di Vittorio are of Respighi and other Italian composers of that generation, with a modernism that is resolutely neo-romantic, as well as verismo – even cinematographic. The listener will choose his own religion for this unclassable music, whose style seems to constantly oscillate from one language to another, without any concerns of criticism from the avant-garde. The most interesting work is without any doubt the Overture Respighinana, an homage to Respighi with a good number of his passages included, though certainly remodeled and transformed, and entwined with Rossini crescendos and fanfares alla Pines of Rome. The overture was written in 2008, and is a contemporary music entirely timeless; which does justice for our times, permitting us to write the music that we wish to write, without fearing the wrath of the self-declared serialists.”
Abeillemusique, Paris
“Laura Marzadori, joined by the Chamber Orchestra of New York, presents a magnificent account [of the Violin Concerto]. The work, written in 1903, was revised and completed by composer/conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, who directed its premiere last year. The Concerto also foreshadows the orchestral technicolour of the great Italian composer’s Roman Trilogy.”
Gavin Engelbrecht, The Northern Echo, London
“[The] Chamber Orchestra of New York ‘Ottorino Respighi’ has among its goals the promotion of Respighi’s works. This is a noble and worthwhile endeavor as many listeners are undoubtedly unfamiliar with the bulk of Respighi’s vast output apart from the extremely popular Roman Trilogy. The orchestra is made up entirely of young professional musicians, a model found less frequently in the US than abroad. Listening to this Naxos album, Di Vittorio’s orchestra sounds every bit as mature and seasoned as more veteran orchestras. Their program features Di Vittorio’s own revised version of the Suite for Strings, a work that can easily be counted among the great string serenades of Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Dvorák. In the Suite, the able-bodied chamber orchestra produces a wonderfully rich, velvety tone that ideally complements Respighi’s melodious writing and expert scoring. The same appealing sound quality is achieved when the winds and brass join in for the Rossiniana Suite. Top billing on the program goes to the A Major Violin Concerto, P. 49. This concerto went unfinished by Respighi, and is heard here in a completed and revised version by Di Vittorio… The recording fills a gap in recordings of Respighi’s oeuvre, and is more than worthwhile for the Suite for strings alone.”
Mike D. Brownell, Rovi, Barnes & Noble, New York
“Happily Naxos fills many gaps in the orchestral catalogue of Respighi’s large oeuvre and with much zest and bravura…Conductor-arranger di Vittorio has done a great job making three of the four works on this disc ready for publication, something that wasn’t happening without his efforts…Was it worth it, you could ask? The Aria is a slow contemplative 5 minute string thing with some impact; you could think it’s Bachian. The Violin Concerto has it’s scratchy moments but I found the slow middle movement very beautiful. The Suite, for me, is the winner and in this piece you can hear Respighi’s love for the Baroque forms. The booklet points forward to his more famous works in this genre: the Ancient Airs and I think that’s a good point. This Suite too has a very lyrical heart: a fine slow lamento-like movement. The recording and the playing are full of enthusiasm and clear enough. The performance of the Rossiniana is very good but this piece has been recorded many times before, so orchestral collectors will have that one in their collection already…Respighi collector don’t you let this CD pass you by!! There’re many other works from Respighi’s juvenile period to be recorded and rescued from oblivion, so Naxos go on with this conductor and orchestra. They deserve it. And, the booklet speaks of Respighi’s orchestration of Claudio Monteverdi’s aria Lamento di Arianna, that’s a great thing to record!!”
Charles Voogd, Underwaterland, London
“Well over a century later, the violin appears in very different form in the 1903 Concerto in A by Ottorino Respighi. The composer never finished this work – the version heard in its world première on a new Naxos CD was revised and completed by conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio, who is himself a composer. This concerto is largely composed with a look backwards, toward the concertos of Mendelssohn and other Romantic-era composers, although its emotional content seems more like the donning of an expected garment than a genuine expression of inner feelings. There is a fair degree of virtuosic display here – all of which Laura Marzadori handles quite well – but not so much plumbing of emotional depths. The work is most interesting for its coloristic handling of the orchestra: written two decades before the Roman Trilogy, it foreshadows some of the effects that Respighi would later use. Also on this CD is another Respighi world première recording: the Aria for Strings, transcribed by Di Vittorio. It is a short and graceful work of no great importance. The Suite for strings, heard here in a Di Vittorio revision, is more substantial and more interesting, filled with grace and elegance that reflect the music and sensibilities of older times – which always fascinated Respighi, as shown most notably in his three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances. Indeed, this work somewhat resembles the third Ancient Airs and Dances suite, the only one written for strings rather than full orchestra. The fourth work on this CD is a suite of another sort: Rossiniana, which is less known and somewhat less ebullient than La Boutique Fantasque but carries much of the same verve in this nicely played performance. The CD as a whole offers a pleasant mixture of unknown Respighi works with one who’s comparative familiarity helps put the others in perspective.”, Florida
“Early, Modest Respighi…[Di Vittorio] has brought to the fore some early compositions by his band’s namesake, including an incomplete Violin Concerto, the third movement of which he has finished from the composer’s sketches, plus some extrapolation. [This] work features a lively, tuneful first movement followed by a subdued, romantic meditation. Di Vittorio wisely and idiomatically finishes the package with a 4½-minute finale from sketch fragments and motives from the first two movements. Respighi probably may not have been pleased, but audiences certainly will have a better feeling of completion listening to this round-off. Laura Marzadori does a fine job with her unchallenging solo violin score.”
San Francisco Classical Voice, Jeff Dunn, California
“Inspired by the tragedy of the Yugoslav civil wars of the early 1990’s…the main themes [of Di Vittorio’s Second Symphony “Lost Innocence”] are taken from lullabies of various countries. Looking at the subject and arc of this piece’s narrative, I am moved by how haunting and how apropos that choice is….the themes…are accessible…The melody [in the second movement] is familiar enough that we indulge the composer in this dance, but the dissonance in the lines remind us of the pain that surrounds…The delicate orchestration and floating lines [of the third movement] guides our minds and spirits upwards out of the ruin. The hope for redemption [in the fourth movement] wins over the mourning, the delirium, the senselessness of it all”
James Harrington, Daily Symphony, Nashville
“A Discovery! …the world premiere recording of a Violin Concerto by Respighi. If you don’t recognise the name, you may already know some of his music, for instance the lovely orchestral suite The Birds. The violin concerto just released harks back to the writing of Vivaldi and Mendelssohn, and foreshadows the orchestral technicolour of his later works. It’s the first time it has ever been recorded, and its arrival is to be warmly welcomed.”
Baalam’s Music, Bury St. Edmonds (UK)
“Hot on the heels of the recent rediscovery Respighi’s Violin Concerto, Salvatore Di Vittorio has recorded a disc of his own music, including Overtura Respighiana. Hailed by critics as “following in the footsteps of Respighi”, Salvatore Di Vittorio’s “serious, lyrical and romantic” work appears here in its ideal light: conducted by the composer and performed by the orchestra he founded in 2006, noted for its ‘stirring… voluptuous’ sound – The New York Times. Italian influences abound. Echoes of Rossini, Scarlatti and the Renaissance heighten this music’s narrative appeal, while the moving Sinfonia No. 2 turns more to the Germanic worlds of Brahms and Mahler for its elegiac message.”
Presto Classical, Warwickshire (UK)
“Inquisitive disc-buyers will almost certainly alight…[for the Suite in G Major, for strings and organ]. Di Vittorio’s 2011 edition (uncut, and original) restores 3 minutes, and he conducts it with energy. It is a curiosity, a portent of the subsequent homage [Respighi] was to pay to earlier Italian masters. Trittico Botticelliano and The Birds, preceded by the Serenata (in another Di Vittorio edition), show Respighi in a favorable light.”
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone Magazine, London