CASELLA, ALFREDO Symphony No. 3, Introduzione, Corale e Marcia. BBC Philharmonic / Gianandrea Noseda. Chandos

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Casella Alfredo Symphony No 3 Bbc Philharmonic Gianandrea Noseda Chandos

  • Casella Alfredo Symphony No 3 Bbc Philharmonic Gianandrea Noseda Chandos
  • Casella Alfredo Symphony No 3 Bbc Philharmonic Gianandrea Noseda Chandos
Alfredo Casella (1883-1947)

Orchestral Works, Volume 3

  • Italia, Op. 11
  • Introduzione, Corale e Marcia, Op. 57 Sinfonia, Op. 63 (Symphony No. 3)

BBC Philharmonic / Gianandrea Noseda

This is the third volume in our survey of orchestral works by Alfredo Casella, which forms part of the ongoing Italian Music series with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda. Both the two previous volumes have been very well received by reviewers and the buying public alike, with 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. Like Richard Strauss before him, in Aus Italien of 1886, Casella makes clever use of folk tunes, which he found in Favara’s Canti della terra e del mare di Sicilia. Unlike Strauss, though, Casella knew that Funiculì funiculà was not in fact a true folksong, but rather the work of the composer Luigi Denza, and in acknowledging this managed to avoid the copyright troubles that Strauss got into over its usage.

It was through his admiration for Stravinsky that Casella later found neoclassicism, a style which is strongly evident in the driving rhythms, tunefulness, and colourful orchestration of the third Symphony. The work was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and it premiered to great acclaim in March 1941. Later it took Dresden and Vienna by storm, where it was conducted by the composer himself and Wilhelm Furtwängler, respectively.

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.

Chandos Records CHAN10768

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