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Cat. No. CHAN 10712 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10712 - Casella: Concerto for Orchestra/A notte alta/Symphonic Fragments
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Available From: 15 April 2012
Casella: Concerto for Orchestra/A notte alta/Symphonic Fragments

This is Volume 2 in the series of orchestral works by Alfredo Casella, performed by the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda, with the pianist Martin Roscoe. The album also forms part of the ‘Italian Series’ on Chandos, in association with Ricordi Music and the BBC Philharmonic. International Record Review said of the previous volume: ‘Anyone with more than a passing interest in this fascinating composer needs to have this remarkable disc.’
 Albeit largely forgotten today, Casella was in fact one of the most important composers of his generation, possessing creativity in abundance, and rare technical skill.
 The earliest music on this album, A notte alta (In Deepest Night), is Casella’s only piece of programme music, inspired, the composer tells us, ‘by sentimental events in my personal life’. You do not need to look far to get a good understanding of what these events might have been: the dedication ‘To Yvonne’ and the 1917 date on the solo piano version clearly indicate that they relate to his affair with a student, Yvonne Müller, who would become his wife after his first marriage was annulled in 1921.
 Unlike most Italian composers of his generation, Casella had no operatic ambitions in the early part of his career. It was not until after his return to Italy from Paris in 1915 that he began to take a creative interest in the theatre, and the result was La donna serpente. This operatic score has much in common with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, from the magic and comic elements to the heroic rescue of a beautiful young woman, in this case a half fairy-queen condemned to assume the shape of a serpent for 200 years.
 The Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 61 was written to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. It was performed for the first time by this orchestra in its famous concert hall in 1938.

Reviews

"...I am once again dumbstruck by how engaging and wonderful this music is.The orchestra plays its collective heart out, and the Chandos recording is stunning in its realism and
impact. I was thrilled to see that the CD Cover states “Orchestral Works: Volume 2.” I eagerly await future release from these performers.
 
David A. McConnell - MusicWeb-International.com - 13 August 2012


                      Music *****      Sound *****
                             Excellent

Andreas Friesenhagen - Fono Forum - August 2012
 

"...as in their previous recording of Casella’s Second Symphony, reviewed here, the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Gianandrea Noseda get right into the thick of things and bring out all of this music’s punch, beauty and effulgence."

Jean-Yves Duperron - Classical Music Sentinel - July 2012
 

                 ****      Excellent
Michel Fluery – Classica magazine – July/August 2012
    

“...Enthusiastically recommended. I look forward to future instalments.”

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone magazine – August 2012
 

"...The adventurous listener will be very well rewarded by this very imaginative and colourful music."
 
Ian Lace  - musicweb-international.com - 11 June 2012

              Performance ****                Recording ****   
“...Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic capture the verve and spirit of Casella’s oft-changing music.”
 
Christopher Dingle – BBC Music Magzine – July 2012

“...It’s music that ... makes its impact through colour: here the orchestra provides a slithering, chromatic background for an incisively luminous Martin Roscoe.  Quite wonderful ... Casella’s imagination and grasp of orchestral colouring simply shine through. Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic are the performers to bring it to life.”
Ivan Moody – International Record Review – June 2012

“...these forthright performances with all musicians on top form come thoroughly recommended.”

Adrian Edwards – BBC web-site review -  11 May 2012

“...Casella’s orchestration is superb, often beguiling ... The music is enchanting, scenic, lively and unfailingly attractive. Suffice to say that the performances are labours of love ... this ... issue sounds quite superb ... with wonderful tangibility, and perspective and clarity in perfect accord.”

Colin Anderson – Classicalsource.com – 12 May 2012

“Gianandrea Noseda’s commendable Italian legacy at the BBC Philharmonic continues with this programme of three works by Alfredo Casella ... whose Concerto for Ochestra of 1937 brilliantly taps the instrumental colour and virtuosity that Casella knew he could expect from the work’s dedicatees, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.”  ****
Geoffrey Norris -  The Telegraph – 12 May 2012

 

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