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Classical; CD RELEASES.

CASELLA BBC Philharmonic / Noseda Alfredo Casella was a contemporary of Respighi but aimed at creating largerscale orchestral works than his fellow Italian composer.

Casella's third symphony Opus 63 was an American commission but by the time he had finished it teh Second World War had broken out and, with its carefully-calculated triumphant ending, the symphony was taken to be a paean to Italy's fascist leader Mussolini.

Politics aside - we don't snub Prokofiev because of his Ode to Stalin - this is a well-crafted work with a mellifluous pastoral slow movement and an acerbic angular scherzo, shades of Mahler and Shostakovich loom here.

The BBC Philharmonic's playing is weighty and thrusting as required, and Gianandrea Noseda ensures any longueurs are minimized. Casella's early tone-poem Italia neatly interweaves folk melodies both grave (reminiscent of Cavalleria Rusticana) and jolly, the familiar Funiculi funicular. The Introduzione, Corale e Marcia reflects Casella's time in Paris, then in thrall to Stravinsky's neo-classicism.

Norman Stinchcombe
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 1, 2013
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