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ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947)
Italian pianist and composer



Alfredo Casella was to a musical world born.  His grandfather and Paganini had been friends.  He studied piano with Louis Diémer and composition with Gabriel Fauré.  Enescu and Ravel were fellow students at the Paris Conservatory, his circle included Debussy, Stravinsky, and de Falla were acquaintances, and he was in communication with the likes of Busoni, Mahler, and Strauss.

He was the most famous Italian pianist of his timne, and a fine chamber musician, performing widely as the pianist of the Trio Italiano.  And he was an important composer instrumental in the development of the Italian school of instrumental, rather than operatic, music in the 20th century.

The below examples of Alfredos Casella's pianism are limited to a few pieces of his own and the two Debussy preludes.  There are also several performances of his own music for piano trio, and a Bach trio sonata.  I will continue to search for more.  This one of Italy's leading virtuoso pianists of the first half of the 20th century deserves to be heard.



Casella  "Berceuse triste", Op 14 (1909)

1926 Duo-Art piano roll




Casella  Ragtime

Aeolian piano rolls




Casella  Siciliana e Burlesca
Trio Italiano (with Alberto Poltronieri, violin - Arturo Bonucci, cello)

recorded in 1931




Casella  Triplo Concerto, Op 56
i Introduction and Allegro - ii Largo - Rondo finale
Alfredo Casella, piano - Alberto Poltronieri, violin - Arturo Bonucci, cello
Serge Koussevitzky conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra

recorded live in 1936




Debussy  Two Préludes
"General Lavine, eccentric" - "La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune"

1926 piano roll




Bach  Trio Sonata from "Musikalisches opfer"
Trio Italiano (with Alberto Poltronieri, violin - Arturo Bonucci, cello)

recorded in 1936










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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