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From the very first notes, with their tolling bells, Casella’s Symphony No. 2 is deeply indebted to its model, Mahler’s own Symphony No. 2, whose Parisian première was championed by Casella during his years in the French capital.
A notte alta (‘In deepest night’), which Casella described as ‘the only piece of programme music I have ever composed… inspired by emotional events in my personal life’ (Casella’s love for his Parisian student Yvonne Müller), is a work of intimate self-revelation and sombre meditation on ‘the utter indifference of Nature to human passions’.
Casella’s Symphony No. 1 is available on Naxos 8572413.
Alfredo Casella: Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 12
I. Lento grave solenne
II. Allegro molto vivace
III. Adagio quasi andante
IV. Finale: Tempo di marcia ben risoluto con fuoco
Alfredo Casella: A notte alta, Op. 30
A notte alta, Op. 30
“Francesco La Vecchia directs the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma in a committed and colourful performance, relishing these moments of darkness, but they are equally good in the rampant spikiness of much of the Concerto...Unreserved applause for Naxos and for La Vecchia and his orchestra.”
Awards Issue 2010
“One of Casella's subtlest creations, it receives a fine performance from the Rome Symphony Orchestra and Francesco La Vecchia”