Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pines of Rome: through a glass, brightly




Given that the last few posts have been, uh, er, pretty much deathward, I think it's time to look in a new direction. Or another one, at least.

This is a condensed version of one of my favorite pieces of music. Respighi is an underrated composer, often seen as lightweight. I perceive it as a sort of innocence, a childlike zeal that some find a little disconcerting. He gets right to the heart of things.

I post an edited version because there is a long, very beautiful, meditative section in the middle that the casual listener may bail on. Instead we hear the Edenic Pines of the Janiculum, which I tried to use to describe the most profound spiritual experience I ever had. I say "tried", meaning a useless attempt to get people to listen to it so they would "get" what I went through. No one did.

But I still have it, and in its enigmatic beauty I feel the echo of some sort of paradoxical death and rebirth.

P. S. The blaring, triumphant brasses, the trumpets sounding almost dissonantly at the end predate the works of film composer John Williams. Respighi did it first: that space-epic sound. See if you can hear it.

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