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Posted July 8, 2011
With this CD, the Naxos company continues its praiseworthy exploration of composers either long-forgotten or unjustly neglected. Those who have purchased Casella's First and Second Symphonies in this series may be jolted by the seemingly abrupt change in his compositional style that occurred between his second and third symphonies. The latter, as well as his "Elegia eroica" are aptly described thus by Naxos: "[These] two powerful works grew from the tragedy of two World Wars. Searingly dissonant and 'profoundly human', the Elegia eroica (Heroic Elegy) [Op. 29, composed in 1916] is Casella's memorial to Italian soldiers killed in World War I. His Third Symphony [Op. 63, composed 1939-1940] ... assimilates the influences and experiences of a lifetime into an exhilaratingly melodic, emotionally wide-ranging and truly organic whole."
Since I'm a dyed-in-the-wool lover of Romantic-era music, these works are too modern and too dissonant for my taste, but this should certainly not deter either devotees of Casella's music or those who like post-Romantic works. The Rome Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Francesco La Vecchia, performs splendidly and the recording quality is excellent.
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Posted September 14, 2011
In the first half of the 20th century Alfredo Casella, along with Gian-Francesco Malipiero, was pivotal in reviving the Italian orchestral tradition, specifically its symphonic component. In a recent conversation, James McHard, eminent musicologist and author of the engrossing, thought provoking survey, "The Future of Modern Music" observed that "Casella was the penultimate neo-classicist. His influences can be traced back to Mahler and even ultimately back to Mozart, and even earlier. Casella derives every ounce of power out of his magnificent classical structures. This is vividly communicated in his unjustly neglected 3rd symphony of 1939." Now collectors can savor this masterwork in a superb new Naxos release. Conductor, Francesco La Vecchia once again leads the Rome Symphony Orchestra as he did with previous volumes. Conception and realization are topnotch. Engineering is transparent and dynamic. Packaging and liner notes are of the highest caliber. As a bonus the searing Elegia Eroica of 1916 tops off the latest installment in this important series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.