Casella: Complete Piano Music

Casella: Complete Piano Music
Composer Alfredo Casella
Artist Michele d’Ambrosio piano
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 9281
EAN code 5029365928120
Release July 2014

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About this release

Alfredo Casella is considered to be the leading representative of the generazione dell’ottanta (generation of the ‘80s): a group of Italian composers born around 1880, including Ottorino Respighi, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Giorgio Gedini and Franco Alfano, who sought to prove that there was far more to Italian music than opera and concentrated primarily on orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. Casella was a controversial and often misunderstood figure – much has been made of his connections with fascism and his decision to remain in Italy under Mussolini – but he was probably just a staunch Italian nationalist who passionately believed in bringing his country’s glorious musical heritage to the fore (he was largely responsible for the rediscovery of Vivaldi’s music in the 20th century).

This 3CD set brings together Casella’s complete works for solo piano. Spanning a period of over 40 years, the collection charts the development of Casella’s musical language, aesthetic views and pianism (he was also an accomplished pianist and conductor). He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1896 and studied under Fauré, and his early works reflect the influence of his teacher and that of Debussy, whom Casella greatly admired. Works from his middle period – such as the Op.24 Pezzi and the Op.28 Sonatina and the atmospheric and, for Casella, unusually romantic musical poem A notte alta show the composer in much more daring mode, experimenting with form, harmony and all kinds of pianistic techniques. Eventually, in later works such as the Pezzi infantili and Sinfonia, arioso e toccata, Casella reached what he called ‘a more creative stage that is well-defined and clear’, deftly assimilating aspects of the Italian Baroque music that he loved so much in order to find a unique, contemporary voice.

Other information:
- Recorded in 2012 & 2013 in Rome.
- For the first time complete on 3 CD’s: the piano music by Casella.
- Alfredo Casella was an important composer active in the first half of the 20th century, writing mainly instrumental music of great vitality, invention, wit and brilliance, a far cry from the sugary romanticism or pomposity of the Italian Romantic Era.
- Played with the right touch of imagination and feeling for this quasi modernist style by Michele d’Ambrosio, a young Italian virtuoso.
- Booklet includes detailed liner notes and an artist biography.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Pavane, Op. 1
  2. Variations sur une Chaconne, Op. 3
  3. Toccata, Op. 6
  4. Sarabande, Op. 10
  5. Notturnino
  6. Berceuse triste, Op. 14
  7. Barcarola, Op. 15
  8. À la manière de…, Op. 17: I. Richard Wagner. Einleitung des 3. Aufzuges
  9. À la manière de…, Op. 17: II. Gabriel Fauré. Romance sans paroles
  10. À la manière de…, Op. 17: III. Johannes Brahms. Intermezzo
  11. À la manière de…, Op. 17: IV. Claude Debussy. Entr’acte pour un drame en préparation
  12. À la manière de…, Op. 17: V. Richard Strauss. Symphonia molestica
  13. À la manière de…, Op. 17: VI. César Franck. Aria
  14. À la manière de…, Op. 17bis: I. Vincent D’Indy. Prélude à l’après-midi d’un Ascète
  15. À la manière de…, Op. 17bis: II. Maurice Ravel. Almanzor ou le mariage d’Adelaïde

Disk 2

  1. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: I. In modo funebre
  2. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: II. In modo barbaro
  3. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: III. In modo elegiaco
  4. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: IV. In modo burlesco
  5. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: V. In modo esotico
  6. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: VI. In modo di nenia
  7. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: VII. In modo di minuetto
  8. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: VIII. In modo di tango
  9. 9 pezzi, Op. 24: IX. In modo rustico
  10. Sonatina, Op. 28: I. Allegro con spirito
  11. Sonatina, Op. 28: II. Minuetto
  12. Sonatina, Op. 28: III. Finale
  13. A notte alta, Op. 30
  14. 2 contrastes, Op. 31: I. Grazioso
  15. 2 contrastes, Op. 31: II. Antigrazioso

Disk 3

  1. Inezie, Op. 32: I. Preludio
  2. Inezie, Op. 32: II. Serenata
  3. Inezie, Op. 32: III. Berceuse
  4. Cocktail’s Dance, Op. 33bis
  5. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: I. Preludio
  6. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: II. Valse diatonique
  7. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: III. Canone
  8. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: IV. Bolero
  9. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: V. Omaggio a Clementi
  10. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: VI. Siciliana
  11. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: VII. Giga
  12. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: VIII.Minuetto
  13. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: IX. Carillon
  14. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: X. Berceuse
  15. Pezzi infantili, Op. 35: XI. Galop final
  16. 2 canzoni popolari italiane, Op. 47: I. Canzone a ballo (Abruzzo)
  17. 2 canzoni popolari italiane, Op. 47: II. Ninna nanna (Sardegna)
  18. 2 ricercari sul nome B-A-C-H, Op. 52: I. Funebre
  19. 2 ricercari sul nome B-A-C-H, Op. 52: II. Ostinato
  20. Sinfonia, arioso e toccata, Op. 59: I. Sinfonia
  21. Sinfonia, arioso e toccata, Op. 59: II. Arioso
  22. Sinfonia, arioso e toccata, Op. 59: III. Toccata
  23. Ricercare sul nome ‘Guido M. Gatti’
  24. 6 studi, Op. 70: I. Sulle terze maggiori
  25. 6 studi, Op. 70: II. Sulle settime maggiori e minori
  26. 6 studi, Op. 70: III. Di legato sulle quarte
  27. 6 studi, Op. 70: IV. Sulle note ribattute
  28. 6 studi, Op. 70: V. Sulle quinte
  29. 6 studi, Op. 70: VI. Toccata. Perpetuum mobile