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date: 11 December 2019

Casella, Alfredolocked

  • John C.G. Waterhouse
  •  and Virgilio Bernardoni

Extract

(b Turin, July 25, 1883; d Rome, March 5, 1947). Italian composer, organizer, pianist and conductor. He was the most influentially innovative figure in Italian music between the two world wars.

After studying with his mother, he showed precocious promise as a pianist, first playing in public in 1894. He also became intensely interested in science, and for a time wavered between two possible careers. Music prevailed and in 1896, following the advice of Martucci and Bazzini, his parents sent him to study at the Paris Conservatoire. The rich musical and cultural life of the French capital (which remained his base for the next 19 years) broadened his horizons and had a lasting influence on him. Before long the focus of his interests shifted from the piano to composing, and in 1900–01 he attended Fauré’s composition classes. His close friends at this time included Enescu and Ravel; and he developed immense enthusiasm not only for the music of Debussy but also for that of the Russian nationalists, Strauss, Mahler and in due course Bartók, Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Revolutionary trends in the visual arts (cubism, futurism, ...

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