Composer: Alfredo Casella
Performer: Gillian Keith – soprano
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 96kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Size: 1.19 GB
Scan: yes (PDF)
Gillian Keith, BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda / Casella – Orchestral Works Volume 4
01. – 06. Casella: 5 Symphonic Fragments from “Le couvent sur l’eau”, Op. 19 23:52
07. Casella: Elegia eroica (‘Heroic Elegy’), Op. 29 15:16
08. – 11.Casella: Symphony No. 1 in B minor, Op. 5 38:00
Recorded: 12-13 September 2013
Recording Venue: MediaCityUK, Salford, UK
Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic here present a fourth captivating volume of orchestral works by Alfredo Casella, part of our ongoing Musica Italiana series.
In 1912, with his music for the ‘choreographic comedy’ Le Couvent sur l’eau, Casella demonstrated that stylistic versatility was no disadvantage for a ballet composer, and although Diaghilev turned down the work for the Ballets Russes, Casella selected the highly colourful and once popular ‘symphonic fragments’, heard here, for concert use.
Similarly, the Elegia eroica is stylistically eclectic, constructed, according to Casella, as a ‘vast triptych’, opening with a dissonant funeral march and ending with a comforting, tuneful lullaby. Casella wrote this piece, which he dedicated ‘to the memory of a soldier killed in the war’, after Italy had entered the First World War and suffered enormous losses.
The three-movement Symphony in B minor is an early work (1906) of creative energy and burning conviction, in which Casella’s enthusiasm for Russian music is revealed already in the sombre Mussorgskyan opening theme. This hypnotic first movement is almost pleasantly oppressive in comparison to the gentler, melodious second, and the bold final movement represents the adventurous exploits of an ambitious young composer.
As with the series as a whole, the performances are exemplary. Noseda’s familiar combination of rigour and emotional extremism is in evidence throughout…Gillian Keith is the aptly glacial-sounding soprano, and the playing throughout is terrific in its intensity and panache. Highly recommended.
Although Casella is known better as a pianist and teacher, these four discs can change your mind about his merits as a composer…Keith sighs her way languidly through the part for wordless soprano in the “Barcarolle.”
Another maligned musical voice…Casella has been well served in this fourth volume by Chandos, and by Noseda, who has a real feel for the quicksilver quirkiness herein