ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Symphonic Fragments from Le Couvent sur l’eau, Op. 19, Elegia erorica, Op. 29, Symphony No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 5.

Catalogue Number: 11R003

Label: Chandos

Reference: CHAN 10880

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Much slower developing than the Naxos Casella series, the Chandos one offers what appears to be a CD premiere: the five excerpts from the 1912-13 Comédie chorégraphique “The Convent on the Water”. It’s set in Venice but only the Barcarolle indicates that; a Marche de fête, Ronde d’enfants, Sarabande, Pas des vieilles dames and Nocturne - Danse are full of orchestral color (with echoes of Ravel in the Danse), the humorous nature of the stage action often evident from witty orchestration, some intentionally approaching overinflation. The early symphony (1905-06) is Russian to the core. Dark sonorities abound, shades of Boris Godunov but also Tchaikovsky, Balakirev, Borodin and Rimsky, while the 1917 Elegia is a lament for the Italian war dead, its dissonance and extremes of expression, articulation and dynamics placed it with the avant-garde of the time. BBC Philharmonic; Gianandrea Noseda.

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