- Symphony No. 3, Op. 63
- Introduzione, Corale e Marcia, for band
- Italia, rhapsody for orchestra, Op. 11
auto-inserted 09-17-2014 15:56:46
18.99 Out Of Stock
The interwar Italian music of Alfredo Casella, highly eclectic in nature, has enjoyed a certain vogue, and the series of Casella recordings by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda has been widely praised. The present release, covering a span of three decades and three different styles in Casella's career, may be optimal for those hoping to sample a single album. The most intriguing find here is the symphonic poem "Italia, Op. 11," which shares with Richard Strauss' "Aus Italien" a lengthy quotation from the Neapolitan popular song "Funiculi, Funiculà," and would seem to have been inspired by it. But Casella's work has an entirely different tone from the sunny Italian dream indulged in by Strauss. It might be called an anti-travelogue, with references to several rather grim Sicilian folk songs (the booklet notes by Gerald Larner are helpful here but not essential: the moods of the music hold up on their own) and "Funiculi, Funiculà" gathering a frenzied energy that may bring Ravel's "La valse" to mind. The "Introduzione, Corale e Marzia, Op. 57," was completed in 1935 but reflects Casella's preoccupation with Stravinsky's music during the 1920s. The marquee work, the "Sinfonia, Op. 63" (also known as the "Symphony No. 3"), is an odd mix, applying Stravinsky's neoclassicism to a patriotic idiom in the run-up to World War II. The effect is something like an Italian Copland, and probably Casella suffers from the comparison, although your mileage may vary. Noseda gets committed, enthusiastic performances from the workhorse musicians of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and there are at the very least several worthwhile additions to the 20th century orchestral repertoire here.