This is the continuation of a series I was keeping for several months a couple years ago, starting with 20 favorite suites by English composers and then going on to a few that were Celtic and then French. Now it's time to move on to other countries, and the outstanding Italian suites have to be Ottorino Respighi's three sets of Ancient Airs and Dances, ideal examples of the neoclassical penchant for retelling older music in modern instrumentation. Here you will hear pieces originally by Fabritio Caroso and Jean-Baptiste Besard and such historical names.
The Ancient Airs and Dances get played a lot, particularly on radio, but if there's one of the sets that gets overlooked it's No. 2, so that's the one you'll get here, from the LA Chamber Orchestra under Neville Marriner.
The movements are Laura soave (0:00), Danza rustica (3:51), Campanae parisienses & Aria (7:32), Bergamasca (12:41).