Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Concertmaster Kelly Hall-Tompkins & Chamber Orchestra of New York Add Naxos CD to Ottorino Respighi Repertoire

[TOP: Kelly Hall-Tompkins BOTTOM: Respighi Violin Concerto in A; Chamber Orchestra of New York; Naxos 8.572332 (2011) (77:32)]

On July 13, 2011 AfriClassical posted: “MusicWeb-International on Respighi CD 'this is a novel and worthy release'; Kelly Hall-Tompkins is Concertmaster.” Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins has released two CDs, including In my own voice on MSR Classics, MS1278 (2008). Kelly has performed frequently in recent years as both a soloist and a member of the O'Connor String Quartet led by fellow violinist Mark O'Connor. A role which has brought Hall-Tompkins extensive national media attention is that of Founder and Director of Music Kitchen, which presents professional musicians in performances of classical music at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in New York City.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins is Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, “Ottorino Respighi.” The recording was Album of the week on New York's influential radio station WQXR. It is generously timed at 77.5 minutes, very near the maximum length for a CD. We have previously presented excerpts of the review of this disc by Ian Lace of, who found the CD “a novel and worthy release.” In conclusion, he wrote: “The recorded sound is first class. A notable release for Respighi enthusiasts.”

The title work is the Violin Concerto in A major [21:08] of Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). It has been revised and completed by Salvatore Di Vittorio, Founder and Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, “Ottorino Respighi.” The liner notes begin: “The Italian composer Ottorino Respighi is best known for his 'Roman Trilogy': Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome), Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome) and Feste romane (Roman Festivals).”

The notes say of the orchestra: “The Chamber Orchestra of New York, 'Ottorino Respighi' is a professional orchestra founded by composer/conductor Salvatore Di Vittorio in New York, NY in 2006 on the 250th anniversary of W.A. Mozart. Its debut was held on 11th October 2007 at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall. Following European models, the Chamber Orchestra is one of the first auditioned orchestras in the history of New York to be entirely devoted to leading young professional musicians. A principal aim is the promotion of the music of Ottorino Respighi and other Italian masters, together with the standard orchestral repertoire.”

Kelly Hall-Tompkins has brought Ottorino Respighi to our attention for the first time in many years. His once-familiar works are brought to mind again now that they have a revised and completed companion work in the form of a Violin Concerto in A major which we find very attractive. The Aria for Strings (5:51) has been transcribed by Salvatore Di Vittorio, who has also revised the Suite for Strings (27:33). The program is rounded out by Rossiniana: Suite for Orchestra (23:01). This critically-acclaimed CD is on the Naxos label, whose global distribution will make possible a large audience for the performances of Violin soloist Laura Marzadori and the members of the orchestra under the direction of Concertmaster Kelly Hall-Tompkins and Music Director Salvatore Di Vittorio.
Disclosure: A review copy of this CD was provided by the record label.

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