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Casella - Concerto For Orchestra A Notte Alta (2012)

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Casella - Concerto For Orchestra A Notte Alta (2012)

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	Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 61 	26:55
1 I Sinfonia. Allegro ma non troppo - Poco meno mosso - Calmo - Tempo, un poco animato - 	8:22
2 II Passacaglia. Molto grave (Andante molto moderato) - 	11:36
    	Variazione I 	
    	Variazione II 	
    	Variazione III Pochissimo meno mosso 	
    	Variazione IV L'istesso tempo 	
    	Variazione V Un poco piů mosso 	
    	Variazione VI Ancora un poco piů mosso 	
    	Variazione VII L'istesso tempo 	
    	Variazione VIII Molto larghetto - Divertimento Tempo del principle - 	
    	Variazione IX (tema aumentato) Dolce e sereno 	
   	Variazione X (canone alla quinta) Sempre l'istesso tempo 	
    	Variazione XI Pochissimo piů mosso 	
    	Variazione XII L'istesso tempo 	
  	Variazione XIII Molto tranquillo 	
  	Variazione XIV Molto calmo ed espressivo. Calmando e diminuendo 	
3 III Inno. Allegro impetuoso ed animato - Molto sonoro, ma nobile e non fragoroso - 	6:47
	A notte alta, Op. 30 	19:53
    	Poema musicale per Pianoforte ed Orchestra 	
4 Lento molto, misterioso. Grave - Lento - Tempo I - Un poco meno - Poco piů mosso - 	5:27
5 Andante molto tranquillo e calmo, quasi adagio. Un poco movendo - Tempo I - 	6:58
6 Agitando e cresc, molto. Stringendo e crescendo sempre - Sempre piů forte e concitato - 	1:50
7 Lento molto, misterioso. Alquanto movendo - Calmando - Lento, molto grave 	3:35
8 Andante molto tranquillo e calmo, quasi adagio. Dolcissimo senza rallentare sino all fine 	2:01
	Symphonic Fragments from 'La donna serpente', Op. 50 	26:16
	First Series
9 Musica del sogno di re altidor. Andante (Tempo di Berceuse) 	2:50
10 Interludio. Andante moderato 	1:22
11 Marcia Guerriera. Tempo di marcia (piuttosto vivace ma non troppo). 	5:15
	Second Series	
12 Sinfonia Allegro vivacissimo. Pocchissimo meno mosso - Riprendeno - 	5:25
13 Preludio Lento, ma non troppo. Sempre piů fortissimo 	6:46
14 Battaglia e Finale Allegro vivacissimo. Sempre fortissimo - 	4:23

Martin Roscoe - piano
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Gianandrea Noseda – conductor



Alfredo Casella composed his Concerto for Orchestra in 1937 for the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Willem Mengelberg. At the time, there were very few works around bearing that title; the most famous was probably Hindemith’s brief essay in the form, and the neo-baroque energy of Casella’s work recalls Hindemith’s work, although this piece is typically sunnier, more lyrical, and considerably more traditionally melodic. The music is nevertheless extremely brilliant and wonderfully enjoyable; the sound clip below offers a tiny taste of the opening of the finale. Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic play the work with plenty of fire and drive in this premiere recording; why it’s not a repertory item is completely beyond imagining.

A notte alta (“In Deepest Night”) is a tone poem for piano and orchestra whose closest analogue might be Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, or something similar. The music had personal significance for the composer, and supposedly reflects his emotional response to an abortive love affair in the early years of the 20th century. The music is certainly evocative, impressionistic, nocturnal, mysterious, sensual, and all of that. This is the work’s second recording, the first being part of Naxos’ excellent Casella orchestral music series; this version is a couple of minutes quicker, but both are beautifully done and equally compelling. The Naxos comes with that label’s slightly finer version of the Second Symphony, and I don’t mind having both.

The Symphonic Fragments from the opera La donna serpent are witty, exotic, and very colorfully scored. The story is a Goldoni comedy that also furnished the story for Wagner’s Die Feen, and the only problem with these fragments is that they are indeed a bit, well, fragmentary. No qualms at all, though, about the performance, which is brilliant, and like everything on the disc very well engineered. Casella remains one of the few unquestionably great 20th-century composers who has yet to earn the acclaim he deserves. You owe it to yourself to get to know him.--- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com



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