Chandos CHAN 10768
Casella: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 – BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda
This is the third volume in Chandos’ survey of orchestral works by Alfredo Casella, which forms part of the ongoing Italian Music series with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda. The two previous volumes have been very well received by reviewers and the buying public alike, David A. McConnell of MusicWeb International commenting: ‘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.’
Casella was a fervent Italian patriot, as his Symphonic Rhapsody Italia so aptly demonstrates. In this one-movement work, the composer focuses on just two contrasting destinations in Italy: Sicily – impoverished, sun scorched, and superstitious – and Naples – bustling and carefree.
It was through his admiration for Stravinsky that Casella later discovered neoclassicism, a style which is strongly evident in the driving rhythms, tunefulness, and colourful orchestration of his third Symphony. Stravinsky’s influence is present also in the final work on this disc: Introduzione, Corale e Marcia for large orchestral forces. Structurally it may derive from César Franck’s Prélude, choral et fugue and Prélude, aria et final, but Stravinsky is there too: in the stylistic inspiration for the main theme of the Introduzione in particular, and also within the melodic material and tempo changes in the concluding Marcia.