But above all his compositions fell under the influence of Mahler and Richard Strauss. In those early years in Paris he enjoyed a career as pianist and harpsichordist, working in chamber music and as an accompanist. It was also the period when he wrote his first two symphonies. As a conductor his career had many setbacks, and though his music changed tack with Stravinsky becoming a major inspiration, it was receiving little public acclaim.
In 1915 Casella returned to Italy and settled in Rome, taking up the modest post of piano teacher at the School of Music Santa Cecilia. In 1923 he gained the position of presenting piano masterclasses there, and became an important figure of influence on young Italian musicians. In 1923 he set up the Corporazione delle Nuove Musiche, affiliated to the International Society for Contemporary Music. Looking now at the members - Respighi, Malipiero, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and the conductor and composer Vittorio Gui, it hardly looks revolutionary, and they soon drifted away, leaving Casella as its only important member.
He, however, remained a leading figure in the crusade to bring to the Italian public a wider awareness of contemporary musical trends. He was regarded a leading figure in Italian music in his time, and director for some years of the Venice Festival of Contemporary Music. Sadly he embraced fascism, but was to die shortly after the war, and before international retribution on those who supported this cause could be made.His output contained operas, ballets, symphonies, concertos, a considerable quantity of orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. Read more on Last.fm.
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