Naxos released the Respighi: Roman Trilogy recording by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra today! In May and June of 2018 during my brief time as acting principal harpist with the BPO, the orchestra recorded Respighi's trilogy of tone-poems celebrating Rome. My sweet friend Catherine Case flew to Buffalo to play second harp for the concerts and the recording sessions. Catherine and I met in graduate school, and I've always been in awe of her amazing harp skills. Not surprisingly she is also supremely gifted at playing in a section, which is an art we harpists don't get to practice very often. Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome) tracks 5-8 and Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome) tracks 9-12 includes Catherine and I playing both my new and my old Salzedo model harps! Respighi did not include harp in Feste Roman (Roman Festivals). I suppose he didn't think the harp was raucous enough for the revelry at festivals, and perhaps he decided between the piano, organ, mandolin, strings, and three or more of every type of wind and brass instrument there just wasn't room for harp?
It is interesting how life moves in circles. My husband, conductor Stefan Sanders, and I spent most of our honeymoon in Rome. We rented a Vespa and spent a week scooting around looking at the very trees, roads, and fountains Respighi so eloquently captures. We even joked about hearing his music in our heads as we saw the sights, and sang the themes together while we ate gelato. When I first met Stefan he was a member of the BPO trombone section, and who would have thought that all these years, one honeymoon, and a few jobs later I would get to record Respighi with the same orchestra? I'm so grateful to Music Director JoAnn Falletta for inviting me to play with the BPO and be a part of this project.
The recording is available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify or your favorite music streaming service.
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