Respighi, Ottorino


Respighi, Ottorino

Lauda per la Natività del Signore per soli, coro, strumenti pastorali e pianoforte a quattro mani (after Jacopone da Todi) (Vocal Score)

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Ottorino Respighi

Lauda per la Natività del Signore (P 166, 1930)

(b. Bologna, 9 July 1879 — d. Rome, 18 April 1936)

per soli, coro, strumenti pastorali e pianoforte a quattro mani
Testo attribuito a Jacopone da Todi (ca. 1230-1306)
Andantino (p. 1) – Poco più lento (p. 5) – Tempo primo (p. 8) – Andante (p. 11) – Allegro (p. 13) – Moderato (p. 14) – Poco più vivo (p. 15) – Lento (p. 18) – Moderato (p. 20) – Meno –
a tempo (p. 21) – Moderato – Lento (p. 22) – Moderato – Allegretto (p. 23) – Allegretto (p. 24) – Lento (p. 27) – Allegro (p. 28) – Più vivo (p. 39) – Moderato espressivo (p. 43) – Lento moderato (p. 46)
– Più lento (p. 49) – a tempo (p. 50)


For Ottorino Respighi, 1929 was a year of triumphant successes. His third Roman tone poem, Feste romane, was premi-
èred in New York on 21 February under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, and its first Rome performance was given by Bernardino Molinari; his opera La Campana sommersa (after Gerhart Hauptmann’s Die versunkene Glocke) was staged in Milan, Rome, Buenos Aires, and Bologna; and the Trittico Botticelliano was premiered in Rome, conducted by Mario Rossi. He was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky to write a work for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Metamorphoseon modi XII), witnessed the première of his Poema autunnale for violin and orchestra in Rome (with Arrigo Serato), and avidly devoted himself to the orchestration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s C-minor Passacaglia and Fuge for organ (“a cathedral built exclusively of sound – a divinely perfect piece of architecture”). After its world pre- miere performance, given on 16 April 1930 in Carnegie Hall, Toscanini sent him a telegram from New York: “Passacaglia huge success: masterly orchestration. Bravo Respighi! Regards – Toscanini.“ By this time, according to the biogra- phy by his wife Elsa, he had long ago started work on his next two operas, Fiamma and Maria Egiziaca, as well as Metamorphoseon and Lauda per la Natività del Signore (Hymn of Praise for the Birth of the Lord). He was at the zenith of his career as a composer. Yet he was obviously expected to produce, in the main, brilliantly scored orchestral works on a monumental scale. Little notice was taken of his music for smaller forces (apart from the marvellous Third Suite for string orchestra from Antiche Danze ed Arie); indeed, audiences even tended to evince disappointment, as happened at the Rome première of his Toccata for piano and orchestra (given by Guido Agosti and Bernardino Molinari on 25 May 1930) and later with his Concerto a cinque.
The score of Lauda per la Nativià del Signore was completed in Rome on 20 June 1930. Like the jocular Suite della tabac- chiera (Snuff-box Suite), which had to wait until 1984 before being published by Ricordi, it was written for Count Guido Chigi Saracini (1880-1965) in Siena. Elsa Respighi informs us how the Lauda came into existence:

In August 1926, Ottorino and I were in Siena for the Palio as guests of Count Guido Chigi, when a heavy shower of rain stopped the traditional race and we had to go back to our host’s home. On a table in the Chigi Palace Respighi found an old porcelain snuff-box that belonged to one of Count Guido’s ancestors. It was decorated with musical themes which Ottorino used to write a little suite the same afternoon. The Suite is scored for the same instruments as the Lauda and forms part of the collection of manuscripts in the Chigi Academy. Respighi refused to allow the work to be published…

Read the preface to the full score / das Vorwort zur Partitur lesen > HERE

Score Data

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Piano Reduction & Voice



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