Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Liege & John Neschling : Respighi: Sinfonia Drammatica, P. 102 & Belfagor Overture, P. 140


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; BIS BIS-2210 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Apart from the Roman trilogy – ‘Pines’, ‘Fountains’ and ‘Festivals’ – The Birds and the Ancient Airs And Dances arrangements (these two popular Dorati/Mercury recordings), Respighi’s music is pretty much a closed book to most collectors. This fourth Neschling/BIS programme brings a late-romantic, shrewdly orchestrated symphony, seen as too Germanic when premiered in 1915, and a characterful overture derived from music for an unsuccessful opera (although recorded by Hungaroton). Although overwrought in parts and certainly overlong for what it has to say, Sinfonia Drammatica proves a likeable piece and it certainly sounds lush in the spacious Liège concert hall. About 8m into (ii) you get a foretaste of ‘Pines Of Rome’. The playing is remarkably fine. CB

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Captured at 96kHz/24-bit with post-processing on Sequoia and Pyramix digital audio workstations, this intense symphony is offered in its native format here, free of downsampling or over-modulation. It’s the real thing. PM