1 800 222 6872

Alfredo Casella: La donna serpente; Introduzione, Aria e Toccata; Partita, Op. 42 / Sun Hee You, piano

Album Summary

>Casella, Alfredo : Introduzione, aria e toccata, for orchestra, Op. 55
>Casella, Alfredo : Partita for piano & orchestra, Op. 42
>Casella, Alfredo : Symphonic fragments from the opera La donna serpente, Op. 50
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This latest disc in the Naxos series of Casella's orchestral music represents what Casella felt was his 'definitive personality'. The Introduction, Aria and Toccata epitomizes his 'monumental Baroque style' of the late 1920s and early 1930s. A few years earlier, his neoclassical Partita for piano and small orchestra had been a huge hit, with Casella himself touring right across Europe and the USA playing the solo part. In between, he at last - in his late forties - composed his first opera, La donna serpente: the orchestral fragments recorded here colorfully reflect the story's tragicomic twists and turns. Korean pianist Sun Hee You studied with Lazar Berman and Valentina Berman at the Florence Accademia Musicale and with Rocco Filippini for chamber music. She was awarded first prize at the Vanna Spadafora International Competition in Rome and the Città di Avezzano International Competition, where she was also given the audience prize. In 2002 Francesco La Vecchia was appointed Artistic Director and Resident Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma. Under his leadership the orchestra has rapidly achieved success in Europe and in highly successful tours to St Petersburg, Madrid, Belgrade, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, London, Athens, Berlin, Beijing and Shanghai.

The Naxos series of the music of Alfredo Casella... is an ongoing one... on the latest disc, only Partita for piano and small orchestra has been recorded before. It is the earliest work here, dating to 1924-25 and cast in a mode, typical for Casella, that pays close attention to the past... while interpreting the forms in Casella's own style. Sun Hee You plays the piece with sure-handed skill... The "orchestral fragments" from Casella's first opera, La donna serpent... point to a work with both tragic and comic elements, including a march and battle scene but also an attractive "Tempo di berceuse" and a slow and deeply felt Prelude to Act III. The third work on the CD is another one paying its respects to the Baroque: Introduzione, aria e toccata, which dates to 1933 and, like the Partita, adapts old forms into a more-modern harmonic and tonal language, through which the formal structure nevertheless shows quite clearly. La Vecchia continues to display great understanding of and sensitivity to Casella's style, and this continuing series shows the composer to have wider range and greater compositional ability than his comparative obscurity would indicate.

Le Devoir
The rediscovery of the music of Alfredo Casella (1883-1947) is one of the highlights of recent years. It all started with the CD of the 3rd Symphony in CPO, then continued with Gianandrea Noseda Chandos and Naxos in Francesco La Vecchia. This is interpreted by the most comprehensive and most consistent Casella composer whose style was influenced by Strauss and Mahler in the 1910s, and is increasingly closer to Hindemith. The neoclassical Partita for piano and small ensemble (1924-1925) also reminds Tcherepnin or Martinu and has a fragrance typical of the 20s. Introduzione, aria e toccata (1933) begins the journey toward a language close to Hindemith. The highlight of the disc is the half-hour symphonic fragments from the opera The snake woman, wonders worthy of atmospheric Busoni showing Casella at its best.

Chicago Tribune
The two newest entries in Naxos' worthwhile survey of Casella's orchestral works display both his neoclassical side and his early modernist bent. If you don't know Casella's music, these discs make an excellent starting point.

MusicWeb International
Colorful music in bold performances, well recorded... the mp3 is very good.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Alfredo Casella was a man of the world, having spent many years in Paris, where he picked up all kinds of influences - French, Russian, German, etc. There is a touch of Morton Gould's neoclassical writing, and one of the upbeat brass themes reminds me of the first of Kent Kennan's Three Pieces. The vigorous rhythmic drive of the Introduction from Introduction, Aria, and Toccata (1933) is a cross between Hindemith and Peter Mennin, and the dark coloring presages Miklos Rosza. Performances do justice to music well worth hearing.


There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased

Works Details

>Casella, Alfredo : Introduzione, aria e toccata, for orchestra, Op. 55
  • Conductor: Francesco Vecchia
  • Ensemble: Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma
  • Notes: Auditorium di via Conciliazione, Rome (10/16/2011-10/17/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1933

>Casella, Alfredo : Partita for piano & orchestra, Op. 42
  • Performer: Sun You (Piano)
  • Conductor: Francesco Vecchia
  • Notes: OSR Studios, Rome (06/27/2011-06/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1924-1925

>Casella, Alfredo : Symphonic fragments from the opera La donna serpente, Op. 50
  • Conductor: Francesco Vecchia
  • Notes: Auditorium di via Conciliazione, Rome (03/25/2012-03/26/2012)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: circa 1932