In memoriam Paolo Castaldi

In memoriam Paolo Castaldi

Casa Ricordi joins the many in expressing the most heartfelt condolences over the death of Paolo Castaldi (1930-2021).

Composer, musician, an intellectual with many interests, from mathematics to poetry to painting, Castaldi had recently celebrated his 90th birthday.


“In my music, anything can happen at any time”

Spiritual child of Igor Stravinsky and scion of the post-Cage era, Castaldi always pushed back against interpretations of his work that referred to them as “desecrating”, “neodadaist”, and “amusing”. In but a few bars he could express all his unbridled vitality and creativity. A lone warning when it comes to his approach to composition: There are no nos. Consonance? Dissonance? Castaldi went way beyond the avant-garde of his day, as he sought out infinite possibilities.

Thus, the birth of what Castaldi himself called a style made up of “discrete elements”, and went on to list those characteristics featured in his compositions. A collage pre-existing material, variants and contrasts, in constantly shifting combinations that are always different. Neotonality and polystylism, with an accent on irrationalism and the reconstitution of the sense of the sacred – these are the fundamental features of Castaldi’s compositional freedom, as it winds its way through the spirit of each reference.

Of Castaldi’s works published by Ricordi, his compositions for piano and chamber ensemble truly stand out.

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Photo: © Roberto Masotti / Lelli e Masotti Archivio