I'm a little surprised by some of the less than flattering reviews of this scintillating collection. Batiz and the Royal Philarmonic deliver a powerful, yet sensitive, committed and highly colourful, yet subtle account of Respighi's Roman Trilogy. The performance shivers with excitement, yet has its moments of delicacy with the strings shimmering with a lustrous quality at times. The excitement level is palpable, from the spectacular opening of 'Circuses' in Roman Festivals, with the combination of trumpets and drums conjuring an epic strength and grandeur, while the contrast between the delicate gossamer opening of 'Jubilee' builds to a dramatic climax. All this in only the first two tracks!
The performance of the Pines is equally triumphant, with a balance of light and shade, strong and delicate, yet all infused with a lustrous radiance to the playing which emphasises the lovely sensuous character of this music. Music with bite and tenderness in equal measure, and a sympathetic recording which captures this performance at its zenith. Both the Penguin Guide *** and the Gramophone rate this a strong recommendation, with the later calling it 'an extraordinary bargain'. Quite unmissable.