• RESPIGHI – Ancient Airs and Dances - Suite 1

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

-Recorder Orchestra: SnSSAATTBBGbCb
-Score (44p) + 11 Parts (+ additional Gb part in treble clef)
- Level: Intermediate to Advanced

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

Ottorino Respighi composed the first of 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 who wrote pieces inspired by music from the Renaissance or Baroque.  The source of the original music on which Respighi composed his Ancient Airs and Dances suites was a collection of transcriptions for classical guitar of Renaissancelute and Baroque lute music compiled by the Italian musicologist Oscar Chilesotti.  This suite is among the most recognized examples of his interest in early music.

It seems fitting to arrange Respighi's Ancient Airs and DancesSuite I for recorder orchestra, in that the music that inspired it and the two other suites was originally composed in the 16th and 17th centuries -- during the height of the recorder’s popularity -- and that some of those tunes are found in solo and ensemble instrumental music from that time.  While the recorder orchestra lacks the variety of instrumental color and expansive dynamics Respighi so expertly employed in his transcription, this arrangement allows recorders to convey some of the lyricism, 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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