b'Program NotesOttorino Respighi (1879- 1936)Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite IIIComposed 1931Ottorino Respighi is best known today as the composer of the three symphonic tone poems that make up the Roman Trilogy: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome, and Roman Festivals. These virtuosic showpieces, notable for their brilliant orchestral colors, were widely performed during Respighis lifetime under the direction of such noted conductors as Toscanini, De Sabata, and Karajan, and they remain standards of the repertory today. Respighi grew up in an artistic and musical family in Bologna and studied the violin, viola, piano, and composition at the Bologna Conservatory. In 1900 he traveled to Saint Petersburg to play in the Italian opera orchestra of the Imperial Palace, where he studied with composer and master orchestrator Rimsky-Korsakov. Moving to Rome in 1913, Respighi taught composition at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, which he directed from 1923-26. In addition to his many accomplishments as a performer and composer, he spoke eleven languages fluently and pursued a lifelong interest in musicology with a focus on Italian music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.Many composers in the early 20th century were inspired by the clarity and lightness of early music. They composed works based on older melodies which they modernized through the use of contemporary instrumentation, harmonies, and textures. Famous examples of this approach include Ravels Le Tombeau de Couperin and Stravinskys Pulcinella Suite. Respighi transcribed many older works for modern instruments, and he also incorporated the melodic contours, church modes, harmonies, and dance rhythms of these earlier styles into his original compositions. The three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances, composed between 1917 and 1931, fall somewhere between transcription and original work. Each suite is based on a curated selection of melodies taken from different baroque guitar or continued.princetonsymphony.org/ 11'