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Casella: Complete Music For Cello & Piano / Favalessa, Semeraro

Casella
Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94823   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alfredo Casella
Performer:  Andrea FavalessaMaria Semeraro
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Casella was, if it isn’t a contradiction in terms, a kind of neoclassical Romantic; of sufficient pianistic skill that he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13 and thus perhaps escaped from the pressure to plough the furrow of operatic verismo already so well tilled by his countrymen. Instead he made his mark as a composer of abstract, instrumental music such as these two cello sonatas.

The First Sonata, like his other youthful compositions, reveals various stylistic influences: there are hints of Debussy, Mahler and Strauss, as well as traces of what Casella had learnt from Fauré. Even in these early works, however, the composer’s own personality comes across clearly in the search for what was new
Read more and hitherto unexplored ground. The Second Sonata reveals a change in compositional approach. In fact, it bears witness to his interest in a style that he defined as ‘baroque in its monumentality’. With its four movements it is more extensive, with dynamics based on deep contrasts between passages that are passionate and vigorous, and others in which the atmosphere is quietly intimate. The same rhythmic energy returns in the Tarantella, composed in 1929 along with the Notturno for violin and piano, transcribed by Luigi Silva in 1931, and ultimately reworked by Casella for cello and orchestra in 1934.

Andrea Favalessa and Maria Semeraro are young Italian musicians who regularly play together in a fruitful artistic partnership that has won them international recognition and numerous awards.

Other information:
- Recorded in 2013.
- The music of Alfredo Casella is experiencing a true revival: labels like Chandos and Naxos issue his large scale orchestral works to great critical and public acclaim, and this new recording presents his wonderful works for cello and piano.
- Casella’s musical language is often called “Neoclassical”: clear structures, open and strong melodic lines, vibrant and sharply edged rhythms, music of great vitality and power.
- The cello sonatas receive a passionate and convincing performance by two young Italians, Andrea Favalessa and Maria Semeraro, a duo already for many years, having won several international prizes at chamber music competitions.
- Booklet includes notes on the music by Maria Semeraro. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 8 by Alfredo Casella
Performer:  Andrea Favalessa (Cello), Maria Semeraro (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1907 
Venue:  Bartók Studio, Bernareggio, Italy 
Length: 25 Minutes 26 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2, Op. 45 by Alfredo Casella
Performer:  Maria Semeraro (Piano), Andrea Favalessa (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Venue:  Bartók Studio, Bernareggio, Italy 
Length: 25 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Nocturne for Cello and Piano by Alfredo Casella
Performer:  Andrea Favalessa (Cello), Maria Semeraro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Bartók Studio, Bernareggio, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
4.
Tarantella by Alfredo Casella
Performer:  Maria Semeraro (Piano), Andrea Favalessa (Cello)
Period: Modern 
Venue:  Bartók Studio, Bernareggio, Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cello Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 8: I. Allegro assai
Cello Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 8: II. Adagio
Cello Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 8: III. Allegro ma non troppo
Cello Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 45: I. Preludio: Largo molto e sostenuto -
Cello Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 45: I. Bourree: Allegro molto vivace e scherzando
Cello Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 45: II. Largo -
Cello Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 45: II. Rondo: Allegro molto vivace, quasi giga
Notturno e tarantella, Op. 54 (arr. for cello and piano): Notturno
Notturno e tarantella, Op. 54 (arr. for cello and piano): Tarantella

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