In the spring of 1886, a young Richard Strauss made a trip to Italy that became a turning point in his creative journey. It resulted in the symphonic fantasy Aus Italien (From Italy), the first programmatic piece by someone who would end up being a fundamental master of this genre. It is a musical description of some places that stirred Strauss's emotions in particular, from the scenery and ruins of Rome to the beach of Sorrento or the region of Naples. The work of the Italian Respighi included in this program was also inspired by an external suggestion: four religious episodes represented in the stained glass of a church. The concert that closes the Year of Italy begins with the famous overture of Berlioz’s Roman Carnival, in which the allusion to popular festivities involves the contagious rhythm of saltarello, a popular dance from the Middle Ages.
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