Colourful orchestral music to describe the fountains and festivals of the eternal city. If you love Rome, and you know the places, it gives an accurate musical description. The fountains are portrayed at different times of the day, the festivals portray four very different Roman festivities.
Respighi was the most successful Italian composer of the interbellum. The fountains was written in 1916, a year after Italy’s entry to the First World War. Its premiere was not successful, because the public resented the German works that were also on the programme. That didn’t stop Respighi to make two extra parts: one about the pines of Rome, the other on this record about the festivals. That last one premiered in 1929 under Toscanini in Carnegie Hall.