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Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci / Pavarotti, Gavazzeni

Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 414590   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Pietro MascagniRuggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Julia VarádyIda BormidaPiero CappuccilliCarmen Gonzales,   ... 
Conductor:  Gianandrea GavazzeniGiuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 26 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The verismo twins were conceived not quite simultaneously, the first (Mascagni's half) occurring just about 100 years ago, at the end of 1888. Musically it is probably the sturdier survivor; certainly it is the more moving part of the double-bill on these records. No doubt the performance has something to do with it, Gavazzeni conducting with warmth and sure judgement while Julia Varady gives a most touching, highly individual performance as Santuzza. In both operas Pavarotti sings like a great tenor in the prime of life, rejoicing in the shine and resonance of his voice; he also has a strong feeling for rhythm (as in Turiddu's Brindisi), an ability to convey a sudden, vivid emotion (the ashen acceptance of Alfio's challenge), and an Read more uninhibited showmanship (useful in Canio's arrival among the villagers) that knows where to draw the line in respect of shouts, sobs and the rest of it. On the other hand, no subtlety of phrasing or nuance marks his Siciliana or ''No, Pagliaccio non son'' and there are times when the outbursts in Pagliacci could do with a weightier underlay in the voice. Freni sings well but makes little of the character, the three baritones have their moments, and chorus work is excellent throughout.

These are well-produced recordings and good value on two discs (the more distinguished Karajan/DG version is on three, as is the Serafin/EMI, probably one of the less essential Callas recordings but impressive as company performances). The booklet has lost some of the old playbills and photographs in possession of its big LP brother; also Avril Bardoni's translation (''Let's get this show on the road'' for ''Suvvia questa commedia'') has been dropped in favour of LS's (''Hey, let's go with this comedy''). Actually, we're just about to 'go' after the Pagliacci Prologue's ''Incominciate'' when there comes the change of side. Inevitable perhaps, but a pity.

-- GRAMOPHONE (1/1989)
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Works on This Recording

Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Julia Varády (Soprano), Ida Bormida (Mezzo Soprano), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone),
Carmen Gonzales (Mezzo Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1976 
Language: Italian 
I Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Vincenzo Bello (Tenor), Ingvar Wixell (Baritone), Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Lorenzo Saccomani (Tenor), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Opera Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1977 
Language: Italian 

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