• RESPIGHI – Ancient Airs and Dances - Suite 1

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)   :  
AncientAirs and Dances – Suite 1  

-Recorder Orchestra: SnSSAATTBBGbCb
-Score  + 11 Parts (+ additional Gb partin treble clef)
- Level: Intermediate to

Transcriptionfor recorder orchestra of all four movements of Respighi’s suite originally fororchestra.
Arranged by Charles Coldwell.

Ottorino Respighi composed the first ofeventually three suites for orchestra titled Antiche Danze ed Arie per Liuto (Ancient Airs and Dances) in 1917. Respighi was one of several composers in the early 20th Century whowrote pieces inspired by music from the Renaissance or Baroque.  The source of the original music on whichRespighi composed his Ancient Airs andDances suites was a collection of transcriptions for classical guitar of Renaissancelute and Baroque guitar music compiled by the Italian musicologist OscarChilesotti.  This suite is among the mostrecognized examples of his interest in early music.

It seems fitting toarrange Respighi's Ancient Airs and DancesSuite I for recorder orchestra, in that the music that inspired it and thetwo other suites was originally composed in the 16th and 17th centuries --during the height of the recorder’s reign-- and that some of those tunes arefound in solo and ensemble instrumental music from that time.  While the recorder orchestra lacks the varietyof instrumental color and expansive dynamics Respighi so expertly employed inhis transcription, this arrangement allows recorders to convey some of thelyricism, character and spirit that Respighi crafted into his suite.

Movements 1-3 can be played readily by intermediate to upper-intermediate level players.  Movement 4 is more demanding (extrememly rapid 16th notes) and best fits capable upper-intermediate and advanced players.  The first three movements of the suite can be performed as a whole, in the suggested order of: 1 – 3 – 2. 

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RESPIGHI – Ancient Airs and Dances - Suite 1

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