S0009. ARCATA STRING QUARTET; THOMAS FULTON; RENATA SCOTTO: IL TRAMONTO; DEITÀ SILVANE; Five Songs (all Respighi). Vox Da Capo 7201, recorded 1982, w.Texts. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 047163720123
“I was particularly impressed with a Vox recording (7201) which mixes a reissue of their 1982 recording (that has notes by Elsa Respighi) of Renata Scotto singing IL TRAMONTO and DEITÀ SILVANE, and a new recording of Quartetto Dorico from the Arcata String Quartet. A valuable complilation of recordings made by Scotto in 1982 of Respighi's 1914 setting of an Italian translation of Shelley's hyper-romantic poem THE SUNSET, his 1917 song-cycle of pagan tinged nature poetry and five short collected single songs is coupled with the CD premiere of the 1923 ‘Doric Quartet’. Composed at the same time as the Concerto misolidio, the quartet reflects Respighi's then-current interest in the sound worlds of early Christian music with the theme which permeates the whole work based on the old Doric church mode. For the review in FANFARE, I wrote, ‘Scotto’s IL TRAMONTO is spellbinding, her voice softly caressing, as she sings of the lovers’ wanderings in an idyllic landscape bathed in twilight. Her interpretation of the DEITÀ SILVANE songs with Thomas Fulton (piano) is no less fine. Of the Quartetto Dorico, and the Arcata String Quartet’s performance the review read, ‘It contains music of striking originality and Respighi’s usual heightened sense of colour is very evident; in fact one frequently forgets that it is a quartet playing, as the sound world seems so much bigger - practically orchestral. As the name implies, the main theme of the work is based on the old church mode, and this theme unifies its constantly evolving web of music through its continuous 20-minute span. The Arcata players propel the music through passages of quiet supplication and cloistered serenity as well as impassioned fervour. Their finely articulated and sensitively attuned ensemble playing is exemplary’."
- Ian Lace