Monday, October 10, 2011

Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances

Here's another "reissue," of something I originally uploaded in 2007.  This is the first recording of Respighi's Second Suite of Ancient Airs and Dances (although minus the first movement), performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vincenzo Bellezza (1888-1964).  The labels credit the Royal Opera Orchestra, Covent Garden - where Bellezza certainly was active - but Philip Stuart's "LSO Discography" (which can be seen here) claims otherwise.  Another oddity about the labels is that they credit two harpsichordists - Messrs. Fornarini and Coop - even though they didn't play on two of the sides, including the one pictured above!

Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances - Suite No. 2 (movements 2-4)
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vincenzo Bellezza
Recorded June 20 and 24, 1930
HMV C 2345 and 2346, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 40.27 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 16.54 MB)


  1. nice work in good rendition to say nothing about all its oddities.
    have you ever heard Vitali Chaconne in Respighi edition played by Gioconda de Vito with Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Erede? i have never seen or heard that hardly desired Respighi work on HMV 78 (DB 6936-7).
    Heifetz has stripped the work in that edition from string accompaniment leaving only organ part to sound (was he insane at the moment?).
    most of the violinists play Charlier transcription, alas...
    i'm glad to see your return to sonics from artists dessins :^)

  2. I didn't actually claim otherwise.
    In 1930 there was no Royal Opera Orchestra as such. The LSO was engaged to play there and as part of the deal between the opera house, HMV and the orchestra, some recordings were billed as "Royal Opera Orchestra".
    Towards the end of the contract, when the LSO had ceased to play at Covent Garden, discs that would have had that billing appeared instead as "John Barbirolli and his orchestra".

    Philip Stuart

    1. Years ago I wondered where Sibelius 1 and 2 by Kajanus were
      done. They have Finnish mxx [WYX] but Peter Copeland was
      sure for technical reasons that they were rec in England,
      prob by members of the LSO,who could not call themselves the LSO for legal reasons. I asked the orch, When is the
      LSO not the LSO, and a member kindly informed me that they
      are a self-governing org, and all official engagements of
      the LSO as such must be approved by the band. They may play any non-conflicting engagement they wish -- they just
      can't call themselves the LSO even tho' that's basically
      who they are....

  3. Philip - thanks for the clarification. Your discography is an invaluable resource and I really appreciate having access to it online.

  4. Bryan - can you contact me at
    as there are various LSO and other issues we can discuss