Hyperion Records

Il Tramonto
First line:
GiÓ v'ebbe un uomo, nel cui tenue spirto
1918; for mezzo-soprano and either string quartet plus double bass or string orchestra; first performed at the Accademia Si Santa Cecilia in Rome by the dedicatee Chiarina Fino Savia with Bernardino Molinari conducting
author of text
The Sunset
translator of text

'Respighi: Il Tramonto; Martucci: La Canzone dei Ricordi' (CDH55049)
Respighi: Il Tramonto; Martucci: La Canzone dei Ricordi
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55049  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)   Download currently discounted
Track 9 on CDH55049 [16'33] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Il Tramonto
In setting to music a poem by Shelley one would expect from the composer an outburst of exalted romanticism. Not so. Respighi was keenly aware of the predicament that the musical world faced at the turn of the century. The Verdian melodrama was giving way to the Verismo and Wagner’s influence was still considerable, while new musical trends were coming in from France and from Russia. Respighi observed, pondered, and gradually emerged as a composer in his own right.

Respighi composed Il Tramonto (‘The Sunset’) in 1918, two years after his first great achievement, The Fountains of Rome. It was a success from the start. It is written for mezzo-soprano and string quartet (with the addition of a double-bass part) or string orchestra, and it was in the latter form that it was premiered in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, with Bernardino Molinari conducting and Chiarina Fino Savio, to whom the work is dedicated, singing the solo part.

The whole work is pure musical poetry, intense in its expressiveness, crystalline yet colourful in its instrumentation, and delicate in its harmonies. But whether the mood is tender, contemplative, joyful or sad, the composer’s imagination never strays from the links of the basic conception. The main idea is masterfully unfolded and moulds the music to the very end.

from notes by Alfredo Bonavera ę 1988

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA66290 track 9
Recording date
14 November 1987
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Respighi: Il Tramonto; Martucci: La Canzone dei Ricordi (CDH55049)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: October 2009
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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