AMILCARE CASTORE ZANELLA (1873-1949)
The music of Zanella heard on this recording is the living testimony of a high cultural legacy, of which we have long been defrauded by the prevarications of a petit bourgeois intellectual nearsightedness imprisoned within the outrageous idea (expressed in the pronouncements of Casella) that “Romanticism (or, to be more precise, its last period which marked its decline, from 1870 to 1914) is by now a dead letter for the creative spirit of the world (this fact is visible to the naked eye in every corner of the thinking universe)”. For the crime of Romanticism was allegedly that of having propagandized the idea of art, as “a divine gift, that is to say, art which is not learned but rather received at birth from who knows where”, as opposed to art as a craft. “So was it understood by the greats of the Renaissance. And it was only because Romanticism misunderstood this sacrosanct truth that it was responsible for having gradually produced all those artists who were perhaps well provided with the divine gift but royally deficient in technique and all too ignorant of their trade. ”Yet the reality was in fact something else altogether. In order to understand the extent to which Romanticism as a high expression of bourgeois culture had always been alien to the idea of the unconscious artist whose masterpiece (again according to Casella) “descends one fine day upon his long-haired head, raised ecstatically toward the ceiling of his poor and untidy room”, one need only glance at the compositional styles of a romantic writer par excellence such as Chopin.