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Casella: Notte Di Maggio/ Cello Concerto/ Scarlattiana CD


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Frequently Bought Together

Casella: Notte Di Maggio/ Cello Concerto/ Scarlattiana + Casella: Symphony No. 1; Concerto Op.69 For Piano Strings & Percussion) + Casella: Symphony No.3 (Elegia Eroica)
Price For All Three: £18.03

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Product details

  • Conductor: Francesco La Vecchia
  • Composer: Alfredo Casella
  • Audio CD (27 Sept. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: NAXOS
  • ASIN: B0040MF284
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Notte di maggio (A Night in May), for voice and orchestra, Op. 20 (1913)
2. Cello Concerto, Op. 58 (1934-35)
3. Scarlattiana, Op. 44 (1926)
4. Divertimento on music of Domenico Scarlatti for piano and small orchestra

Product Description

From mysterious moonlit night to joyous sunlit day, this recording runs the gamut of Alfredo Casella's huge stylistic range. Notte di maggio ('A Night in May'), composed in the wake of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, is Casella at his most radical, while the delightful 'Divertimento' Scarlattiana finds him at his most relaxed, spicing up themes from Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas in the manner of Stravinsky's Pulcinella. Between them comes Casella's Cello Concerto, its style influenced by the 'baroque magnificence of Rome', with a finale the composer called 'the flight of the improved bumblebee'.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nobody TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Casella isn't as well known as Respighi even though, as a contemporary of his, he produced a significant output of quite weighty music. Like Respighi and other Italian composers, Casella's association with Mussolini was not somethin to be proud of. Like Respighi, Casella's neo baroque / classical works attempt to recreate Italy's glorious cultural past for less than honourable reasons. Casella had to flee the regime when Hitler's anti semiticism became policy in Italy too. He survived the war but was tarnished by his associatiion with the regime. Respighi was "lucky" enough to die much earlier and his association with the regime was forgotten. Casella's music, fell under a cloud after the war. Now, at last, we're getting to hear the music and it's very good.

"Notte di Maggio", written shortly after the Rite of Spring, is a sumptuous piece of late romanticism meets, impressionism meets Rite of Spring with a hint of Scriabin. The subject matter and mood is very close to Szymanowski's Symphony no 3 "Song of the Night" though a touch lighter and less mystical. It was written before the Szymanowski so Casella deserves some credit there. Although he thought highly of the piece it is, not surpringly, a little too derivative. It's a fine piece to wallow in though so it's an enjoyable listen.

The Cello Concerto surprised me. Dating from the 1930's it comes from Casella's neo classical period and immediately shows the drive and chromaticism familiar in Shostakovich's much later First Cello Concerto. Although Casella consciously wanted to reflect Italian baroque models this is a far from dry or academic work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another excellent entry in this Naxos series 3 Dec. 2010
By AndrewCF - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Alfredo Casella: Sinfonia per Orchestra, Op. 63; Italia, Op. 11Casella: Symphony No. 2; ScarlattianaCasella: Symphony No. 2 - A notte alta for Piano and Orchestra This new release of music by Alfredo Casella should prove that the wave of appreciation for this gifted composer will continue and thrive. Outside of recordings made in Italy, previously Casella's only multiple entry in the catalogue was the charming if forgettable "Paganiniana." This series of four (the Symphony No. 3 is yet to arrive) on Naxos is most admirable in its commitment to expose this composer to the current generation of Classical music lovers. The Naxos performances and recordings have been generally excellent, though not ideal. Noseda's remarkable recording of the Symphony No. 2 on Chandos sets a very high standard. It is unfortunate that this work was disparaged by a reviewer for the 2011 Gramophone Guide; the reviewer seemed to have a vendetta, comparing the music to an overblown movie score (the work does not disguise its influence, or more accurately, allegiance, to Mahler but the reviewer does not take into account the fact that the young Casella was searching for a personal style).

Be that as it may, "Notte di maggio" which opens this disc is an Expressionist masterpiece - sensual, erotic, and magical. It is true that the soloist, Olivia Andreini, has a lush voice but an intrusive flutter, and she doesn't really make any attempt to interpret the poetry dramatically, but she does not deter from the performance in any way. The Cello Concerto is a superb display of Casella's later style (modern and neoclassical), and the playing by Andrea Noferini is quicksilver. One wonders what Poltera might do with this work. The "Scarlattiana" is also very fine, with an excellent soloist.

I look forward to the final release in this Naxos series. However, it will be difficult to top the recent CPO recording by Alun Francis of this symphony.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Casella is as good as Stravinsky 5 Jun. 2012
By Alan Zelaya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
5 stars for not only this but for all the Naxos recordings of Casella's music. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he's an early to mid 20th century Italian composer of the Neoclassic persuasion, something like the Stravinsky of the 30's, only with more singable tunes and more relaxed development. Should be as well known as other composers of his era (Hindemith, Prokofiev, Martinu). Possibly postwar critical opinion was more influenced by Casella's early political sympathies than by an honest estimation of his music.

Anyone liking this is directed to the only recording of the chamber version of his Serenade, on Stradivarius STR 33312, and to a disc of his chamber music on ASV CD DCA 1085, containing a fine piano trio.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Worth a Listen 20 Nov. 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc is one of a series from Naxos, now I believe up to perhaps six releases, featuring the music of Alfredo Casella in performances by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma under Francesco La Vecchia. Casella, an Italian who primarily worked the Neoclassical vein during the first half of the 20th Century, has been compared to Stravinsky by at least one other reviewer here, and it's not an bad comparison. Of all the Casella works recently recorded, the Symphony No. 2 has perhaps made the biggest splash, and it's a deserved one, but many other of his pieces deserve some attention as well. Going backward on the disc, the program concludes with Scarlattiana, a five-movement work for piano and small orchestra in which Casella utilizes themes from the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. The back of the box blurb likens it to Stravinsky's Pulcinella, which maybe I can agree with. It's another of those works in which older music is dressed up in modern garb, and I think the new style fits quite well. My only complaint is that I wish that the orchestra were more energetic -- and this is the composition I'm faulting, not the actual performance. Until the end, most of the vigor is carried by the piano soloist, which perhaps is what Casella wanted conceptually. To me, it creates a bit of an imbalance, with the orchestra coming along for the bike ride but not pedaling, which I wish it it did more of. The middle of the disc is taken up by the Cello Concerto, whose first two movements really engaged me. The first is a driving Allegro that quickly gets your attention, followed by a broad, introspective and powerful Largo movement. However, I found the last movement of the work to be a bit of a letdown -- it just couldn't match the power of its predecessors. Finally, leading off the album is the world premiere recording of Notte di maggio (A Night in May) for voice and orchestra. Normally I'm not a big fan of that classical sub-genre, but this is a haunting work -- I don't know that it's a fair comparison, but I got somewhat the same feeling from it that I do with Strauss' Four Last Songs. So while this disc isn't perfect, I still find it a net plus.
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