Author Topic: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)  (Read 12334 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« on: May 04, 2009, 05:29:11 AM »
Discussion about Malipiero and the recent thread on Pizzetti prompts me to raise the case of Alfredo Casella, another of the 'generazione dell'ottanta' which re-invigorated Italian instrumental music in the first half of the 20th century.

Casella studied in Paris under Faure at the very end of the 19th century and was acquainted with his fellow students Ravel and Enescu. He developed a strong admiration for the music of Debussy but was, at first, more influenced by composers like Mahler, Strauss and Busoni. Casella wrote two early symphonies in a Mahlerian/Straussian idiom but neither has yet been recorded.

Casella developed into an excellent pianist and innovative conductor(he conducted the Boston Pops orchestra for a couple of years in the late 1920s). After the First World War Casella's style changed into a more neo-classical type(owing something to Stravinsky) and most of the works of his which have been recorded come from that time, including the Violin Concerto and the Cello Concerto.

His great achievement(perhaps his greatest claim to ultimate fame) was his work in reviving interest in the music of Vivaldi and, together with Malipiero, Casella did a tremendous amount to restore the music of the Italian baroque composers to public attention.

Unfortunately Casella-unlike Malipiero-fell victim to a somewhat naive admiration for Italian Fascism and Mussolini and his reputation has probably suffered as a result(although he may now be coming in from the cold).

Two works of his which I would really like to hear are the Concerto Romano for organ and orchestra and the Third Symphony of 1939. The symphony has been recorded by CPO but not yet issued. There is also the 1944 Missa Solemnis "Pro Pace" which is reported to be 'quasi-serialist'.

Casella may not be quite the equal of Malipiero but he is not far short of that composer in quality and his works certainly demand more general exposure.

http://www.classicalarchives.com/composer/2302.html#tv=about

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfredo_Casella
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 05:31:59 AM by Dundonnell »

snyprrr

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 09:24:18 PM »
All I know is the 2cd Nuova Era retrospective. What is his famous piece, Serenade?...with the trumpet? Very 20s.

Yes, perhaps he is being punished. Has any major label recorded anything?

Offline The new erato

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 12:54:09 AM »
Naxos have a disc (I have it but remember no details). Guess they are a major now.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 02:08:25 AM »
I have these-

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 02:15:28 AM »
together with-

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 02:16:19 AM »
and also-

snyprrr

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 10:17:14 PM »
Serenata is the piece.

Comparing the merits between Casella and Ghedini would be interesting. Ghedini is the dark horse for me. I have a Stradivarius disc of his chamber music (pity, no SQ), no masterpieces, but an interesting listen in tandem with some Dallapicolla or Malipiero. Thankfully, mid century Italian music isn't as big a black hole as other pursuits!

Casella would be the most "French" of the bunch, no?

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 03:30:03 PM »
Serenata is the piece.

Comparing the merits between Casella and Ghedini would be interesting. Ghedini is the dark horse for me. I have a Stradivarius disc of his chamber music (pity, no SQ), no masterpieces, but an interesting listen in tandem with some Dallapicolla or Malipiero. Thankfully, mid century Italian music isn't as big a black hole as other pursuits!

Casella would be the most "French" of the bunch, no?

"French"? Yes, I suppose so. Most "Internationalist" certainly :)

snyprrr

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 11:18:23 PM »
Better word, yes.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 03:38:22 AM »
At last ;D

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Alfredo-Casella-Symphonie-op-63/hnum/7411161

This recording has been sitting in CPO's vaults for the last three years.

Oddly, CPO's cd cover simply calls the piece 'Symphonie' although it is in fact Casella's Third Symphony. There are two early symphonies as well.

(Now what about their recording of Krenek's 4th Symphony?)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 07:37:49 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 10:00:12 PM »
I don't know much about this composer but have greatly enjoyed his Symphony No 2, just released on Naxos. It is an epic work of 55 minutes first performed in 1910. The style is Mahler meets Respighi, Zemlinsky and early Bloch - all composers whom I like - but it is also a work of considerable originality, generally dark in tone with lots of pounding ostinato. The coupling A notte alta for piano and orchestra is also excellent - a nice discovery.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2010, 08:38:04 AM »
I don't know much about this composer but have greatly enjoyed his Symphony No 2, just released on Naxos. It is an epic work of 55 minutes first performed in 1910. The style is Mahler meets Respighi, Zemlinsky and early Bloch - all composers whom I like - but it is also a work of considerable originality, generally dark in tone with lots of pounding ostinato. The coupling A notte alta for piano and orchestra is also excellent - a nice discovery.

That recording hasn't come out in the States yet, but I really look forward to hearing as the first recording with "Symphony No. 1" and "Concerto for Piano, Timpani, Percussion, and Strings" was really good.
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pjme

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2010, 11:16:56 AM »
Concerto romano ( Organ, strings, timpani, trumpets & trombones) can be had on a SIGNUM double Cd called "Expressionismus".
At nearly 30 mins. it is a bit long. But Martin Schmeding , organ and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester frankfurt / Christoph Campestrini give a very profesional performance.



I haven't heard this other recording



Casella's Elegia eroica (also on the Signum disc) from1916 is a very dark and dramatic piece lasting almost 15 mins.

P.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 11:20:12 AM by pjme »

Offline listener

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 09:35:29 AM »
another recording of the op. 56 "Piano Trio" recording is/was on Koch Schwann, backed with the Sonata a tre  op. 62
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Offline Brian

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2011, 11:15:44 AM »
Latest interview with Klaus Heymann isn't really about Casella, but there's an interesting tidbit for those who noticed the sudden Casella CD outburst last year:

"Chandos, for example, is often mining the same unknown territory that we are mining. I always make sure that their release comes out first. They’re always a little bit nervous about showing me their release plans, so I always have to show them my release plans: Take a look—Oh, you have some Casella symphonies? O.K., you come out with it first, and I’ll come out a month later. But they’re happy with what we do for them."

http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/klaus-heymann-the-last-record-man-standing/


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 05:58:19 PM »
Right now, I'm giving Casella a fair shake. His music is incredibly good. The Sinfonia (Symphony No. 3), in particular, is one of the finest works I've heard from any Italian composer in my opinion. That second movement Andante completely floored me with it's haunting beauty and it's almost heartening outcry for humanity. A kind of yearning that I found quite revealing and hadn't really heard in Casella's music before. He's becoming one of my favorite Italian composers and, dare I say, he's projecting more emotional depth than Respighi. Malipiero and Pizzetti are still two very fine Italian composers that I'm going to continue to explore.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2011, 01:19:07 PM »
A massive thank you to John for introducing me to this fascinating composer through his recommendation to me of the 3rd symphony.
Have just finished listening to this excellent recording:



Really impressed with it, I love the work and am very keen to listen to it again, as soon as possible! Would be interested to hear his other works as well! The symphony was a very exciting work, with many moments of beauty and power. A really thrilling work which I enjoyed very much! Thank you again John!
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2011, 06:57:39 PM »
A massive thank you to John for introducing me to this fascinating composer through his recommendation to me of the 3rd symphony.
Have just finished listening to this excellent recording:



Really impressed with it, I love the work and am very keen to listen to it again, as soon as possible! Would be interested to hear his other works as well! The symphony was a very exciting work, with many moments of beauty and power. A really thrilling work which I enjoyed very much! Thank you again John!

Awesome, Daniel. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! 8)
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2011, 04:35:48 AM »
Awesome, Daniel. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! 8)

Thanks John :)

I am definitely going to buy that recording of the 3rd symphony, but I was wondering, is this one worth is as well? Especially considering it is so inexpensive?



And also,
I noticed Noseda had made a recording of the 2nd symphony, do you think/know that Noseda will be continuing a Casella cycle?
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alfredo Casella(1883-1947)
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2011, 04:52:24 AM »
Yes...if you can, buy the Naxos disc for the Elegia Eroica(as well as an Italian version of the 3rd Symphony).

Review:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2011/July11/casella_8572415.htm

Noseda will be recording more Casella, apparently, including the Concerto for Orchestra.