The Front Row: Respighi's "Fountains of Rome"

Mar 6, 2018

The Texas Tech Orchestra will perform Ottorino Respighi's “The Fountains of Rome” Tuesday, March 6, along with a new piece called “The Concerto of Hope.” Find out more from Philip Mann, Andrew Stetson and composer, Jim Stephenson, on this episode of The Front Row.

Philip Mann, tell us about the program.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear the University Symphony Orchestra in while, or maybe it’s your first time, this is a great first experience. We have one of the most evocative, colorful, examples of orchestration in the entire repertoire in “Fountains of Rome.” Most people don’t necessarily think of Respighi as an impressionist, but he has painted these extraordinary fountain images with the colors and sounds of an orchestra in a compelling fashion that you can’t help but to enjoy.

Frankly, for musicians on stage, we’ve all played “Pines of Rome,” many many times. Even the students here have played “Pines of Rome” multiple times. But “Fountains” often with orchestral musicians, is the one that’s so special that we really look forward to playing. So I’m personally looking forward to that.

It’s also an important week for the orchestra and for the school. That’s because of a world-premiere recording that we’re making of Jim Stephenson’s trumpet concerto. That’s why I’ve asked them to be here with me today in this interview. Anytime you put something down—put it in the can as it were—but put it down for posterity in recording, it carries with it a little extra gravitas, or emphasis.

That’s a source of motivation for students. It’s a source of motivation for musicians as we practice. But it also is filled with a sense of event. And if you think of what a great concert experience really can be, it has to have a great sense of event. So this is a program we’ve all been looking forward to all year.

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.