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Casella, Alfredo (1883--1947) By Roderick, Peter

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1314-1
Published: 01/10/2016
Retrieved: 01 October 2023, from


Alfredo Casella was an Italian composer, the leading member of the generazione dell’ottanta who were all born in the 1880s and who turned away from Italy’s operatic tradition in favor of new musical directions.

Casella’s musical life consisted of a number of phases. Born into a Torinese musical family and surrounded by orchestral musicians in his early years, a move to Paris at the age of twleve years broadened his horizons considerably, and offered him the chance to study with Fauré and absorb the heady musical life of that city. He lived there for various periods during the subsequent twenty years, and the music and acquaintance of Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and Manuel de Falla ensured that Casella formed an entry point into Italy for much of Europe’s most innovative musical Modernism. Sachs writes that ‘he was polyglot, cosmopolitan, and ardently interested in European musical developments’ (1988: 134); added to this, he was a prodigious essayist and letter writer. Many works from this time are stylistically adventurous: Notte di Maggio (1913) is comparable to Debussy’s Jeux, while the Pagine di Guerra (1918) for two pianos are a harsh and dissonant reflection on the horrors of war, using cinematic images of trench warfare as their inspiration

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Citing this article:

Roderick, Peter. "Casella, Alfredo (1883--1947)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 1 Oct. 2023 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1314-1

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