“I first properly discovered Respighi during the very beginning of the 2020 Lockdown, when I was looking for some Italian songs to lift my heart.
What I found was so much more. Not only did I gain access to a treasure house of colourful and imaginative musical writing, but also to the most intimate area of the composer’s mind. And what a mind! Eternally curious and eclectic, Ottorino Respighi, born in Bologna in 1879, spoke 11 languages fluidly.
His clever and always sensitive choice of poetry is a direct reflection of the breadth of his musical imagination. The resulting combination of music and words is as powerful as it can be — which is not at all obvious, and we often find less successful examples even by the greatest of composers.
A master in storytelling, Respighi’s musical language is shaped around the poetic world created by the text in such a way that we have the feeling it was born as one whole. His ability to paint a complete scenography or set, complete in all its detail, in just a few bars is a rare one.
Working on Respighi‘s music has been so fulfilling for both of us, pianist and singer. It has also offered a different and wider perspective on life’s happenings; one constant in this music is the longing for a past still so close — its vibrations still in the air — but at the same time inevitably gone.
During his life, Respighi, also a musicologist, turned his attention to Italian and foreign folk traditions. It seemed especially fitting to end the album with arrangements of Scottish and Italian Folk songs.”
– Saskia Giorgini
Photo by: Julia Wesely