Alfredo Casella
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p0246lsv.jpg
1883-07-25
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/59cf3a7f-0eef-4e11-ae69-a2b75feab47f
Alfredo Casella

Alfredo Casella Biography (BBC)

Born in Turin, Alfredo Casella was one of the group of Italian composers collectively known as the generazione dell'Ottanta (generation of the 80s), who sought to change the whole climate of Italian music from a parochial fixation with opera to international excellence in the fields of orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. His contemporaries in this endeavour included Ottorino Respighi, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Gian Francesco Malipiero and Giorgio Ghedini, but Casella is considered the prime mover. His aim was to forge a new brand of neo-Classicism inspired by the golden age of Italian instrumental music from the Renaissance to the 18th century, but conceived in contemporary terms.

Casella came from a long-established musical family, and he showed early talent as a pianist, being a renowned virtuoso by the age of 13. His cosmopolitan upbringing (he lived outside Italy between the ages of 13 and 32) gave him a unique critical perspective on his native country's musical predicament, and his education at the Paris Conservatoire, where from 1896 he was a fellow-student of Ravel and Enescu under Gabriel Faure, furnished him with the technique to achieve his goals. From 1906 to 1909 he was the harspichordist for the French Société des Instruments Anciens, which intensified his appreciation of early music. Sojourns in Germany and Russia gave him an insatiable taste for chromatic dissonance and stylistic experiment. After teaching and conducting in Paris he returned to Italy in 1915, determined to recreate his country's musical language.

A prolific composer and a master of many styles, Casella taught composition in Rome, was active as a critic, and in 1917 founded the La Società nazionale de Musica in conjunction with Malipiero and the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio (refounded in 1923 as the Italian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music). In the 1930s he performed frequently outside Italy as an acclaimed pianist, chamber musician and conductor, while acting as director of the Venice Festival of Contemporary Music. As a scholar, his achievements included an influential edition of Beethoven's piano sonatas and he was principally responsible for the rediscovery and re-evaluation of the music of Antonio Vivaldi, which was celebrated in the first festival of the Settimane Musicali Senesi, which Casella helped to found.

Casella's decision to remain in Italy under Mussolini was probably due to simple patriotism (he was a passionate Italian nationalist) rather than admiration for the Fascist state: his wife was French and Jewish, and he continued to proselytise for the music of Schoenberg and Berg. It was during the Second World War that he wrote some of his most refined and abstract works, such as the Studi for piano, while late works such as the Missa solemnis 'Pro Pace', suggest an acceptance of Schoenberg's 12-note technique, which he had previously shunned.

In 1942 he was diagnosed as suffering from inoperable cancer, and, though a later diagnosis led to a successful operation, the cancer had meanwhile caused incurable side-effects from which he spent his remaining years in chronic pain. He died in Rome in 1947.

Profile © Calum MacDonald


Alfredo Casella Performances & Interviews


Alfredo Casella Tracks

Sort by

Alfredo Casella
Barcarola e scherzo
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Barcarola e scherzo
Alfredo Casella
Galop, from Divertimento for Fulvia
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Galop, from Divertimento for Fulvia
Alfredo Casella
Scarlattiana- Divertimento for Piano and Orchestra Op.44
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Scarlattiana- Divertimento for Piano and Orchestra Op.44
Alfredo Casella
La Donna Serpente - Act III
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
La Donna Serpente - Act III

La Donna Serpente - Act III

Singer
Piero Pretti
Carmela Remigio
Erika Grimaldi
Francesca Sassu
Anna Maria Chiuri
Francesco Marsiglia
Marco Filippo Romano
Roberto de Candia
Fabrizio Paesano
Fabrizio Beggi
Sebastian Catana
Kate Fruchterman
Donato Di Gioia
Emilio Marcucci
Alejandro Escobar
Eugenia Braynova
Roberta Garelli
Giuseppe Capoferri
Choir
Teatro Regio Chorus
Turin
Orchestra
Teatro Regio Orchestra
Alfredo Casella
La Donna Serpente - Prologue & Act I
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
La Donna Serpente - Prologue & Act I

La Donna Serpente - Prologue & Act I

Singer
Piero Pretti
Carmela Remigio
Erika Grimaldi
Francesca Sassu
Anna Maria Chiuri
Francesco Marsiglia
Marco Filippo Romano
Roberto de Candia
Fabrizio Paesano
Fabrizio Beggi
Sebastian Catana
Kate Fruchterman
Donato Di Gioia
Emilio Marcucci
Alejandro Escobar
Eugenia Braynova
Roberta Garelli
Giuseppe Capoferri
Choir
Teatro Regio Chorus
Turin
Orchestra
Teatro Regio Orchestra
Alfredo Casella
Scarlattiana - divertimento for piano and orchestra (Op.44); Sinfonia (Lento...)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Scarlattiana - divertimento for piano and orchestra (Op.44); Sinfonia (Lento...)
Alfredo Casella
La donna serpente (The Snake Woman) - Sinfonia (overture)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
La donna serpente (The Snake Woman) - Sinfonia (overture)
Alfredo Casella
Cello Concerto (Op.58) (1934/1935)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Cello Concerto (Op.58) (1934/1935)
Alfredo Casella
Sicilienne and Burlesque
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Sicilienne and Burlesque
Alfredo Casella
Le Couvent sur l'eau - 5 symphonic fragments Op.19 for soprano and orchestra
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Le Couvent sur l'eau - 5 symphonic fragments Op.19 for soprano and orchestra
Alfredo Casella
Symphonic Fragments from La donna serpente Op.50: Act 1 Sinfonia
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Symphonic Fragments from La donna serpente Op.50: Act 1 Sinfonia
BBC Philharmonic
Introduction, Chorale and March, Op. 57
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqhyf.jpg
link
Introduction, Chorale and March, Op. 57
Alfredo Casella
Symphony [no.3] Op.63: 4th movement; Rondo finale: Allegro molto vivace ed animato
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Symphony [no.3]  Op.63: 4th movement; Rondo finale: Allegro molto vivace ed animato
Alfredo Casella
Sinfonia, Arioso, e Toccata, Op.59: no.3. Toccata
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Sinfonia, Arioso, e Toccata, Op.59: no.3. Toccata
Alfredo Casella
La Donna serpente - symphonic fragments (1st series)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
La Donna serpente - symphonic fragments (1st series)
Alfredo Casella
Prelude from 3 Pieces for Pianola
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Prelude from 3 Pieces for Pianola
Alfredo Casella
Pagine di guerra Op.25a, arr. for orchestra: Nos. 2 & 3
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Pagine di guerra  Op.25a, arr. for orchestra: Nos. 2 & 3
Alfredo Casella
Notte di Maggio, Op.20
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Notte di Maggio, Op.20
Alfredo Casella
Symphony no. 2 in C minor Op.12: 2nd movement; Allegro molto vivace
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Symphony no. 2 in C minor  Op.12: 2nd movement; Allegro molto vivace
Alfredo Casella
Symphony No. 1 in B minor, Op.5: 2nd movement
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Symphony No. 1 in B minor, Op.5: 2nd movement
Alfredo Casella
Grazioso (Diex contrastes)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
Grazioso (Diex contrastes)
Alfredo Casella
CINQUE PEZZI 3rd movement Valse Ridicule
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
CINQUE PEZZI 3rd movement Valse Ridicule
Alfredo Casella
CONCERTO PER ARCHI 1st movement Sinfonia
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p0246lth.jpg
link
CONCERTO PER ARCHI 1st movement Sinfonia
Luca Ballerini & Alfredo Casella
11 Pezzi infantili, Op. 35 No. 11: Galop final
http://static.bbci.co.uk/music_clips/2.8.3/img/track_fallback.png
link
11 Pezzi infantili, Op. 35 No. 11: Galop final
Load more tracks

Back to artist