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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Cura, Cedolins, Nikiteanu [blu-ray]

Mascagni / Leoncavallo / Cura / Marrocu / Ranzani
Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Arthaus Musik   Catalog #: 101490  
Composer:  Pietro MascagniRuggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Liliana NikiteanuIrène FriedliCheyne DavidsonJosé Cura,   ... 
Conductor:  Stefano Ranzani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House OrchestraZurich Opera House Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Note: This Blu-ray Disc is only playable on Blu-ray Disc players, and not compatible with standard DVD players.

Pietro Mascagni
(Blu-ray Disc Version)

Lola – Liliana Nikiteanu
Alfio – Cheyne Davidson
Lucia – Irène Friedli
Turiddu – José Cura
Santuzza – Paoletta Marrocu

Ruggero Leoncavallo

Peppe – Boiko Zvetanov
Silvio – Gabriel Bermúdez
Tonio – Carlo Guelfi
Nedda – Fiorenza Cedolins
Canio – José Cura

Zurich Opera House Chorus and Orchestra
(chorus master: Jürg Hämmerli)
Stefano Ranzani,
Read more conductor

Grischa Asagaroff, stage director
Luigi Perego, set designer
Hans-Rudolf Kunz, lighting designer

Picture format: 1080i Full-HD
Sound format: PCM Stereo / DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
Running time: 151 mins
No. of Discs: 1 (BD 25)


"This ‘Cav’ and ‘Pag’, in Blu-ray DVD looks quite stunning. Look, for instance, at the clown costume Tonio wears as he sings his Pagliacci Prologue. The detail is outstanding, all the clashing cross-stripes of his waistcoat and overcoat hold steady, and all the subtleties of his costume’s colours, and that of the parrot on his shoulder, they are all captured - as are the lovely 1950s, full-skirted dresses of the ladies of the chorus in Pagliacci’s opening scene. The sound is equally outstanding. Just one example: you can hear all the niceties of Leoncavallo’s orchestral textures imitative of birdsong as Nedda sings her ballatella, ‘Stridono lassù’, expressing her envy and admiration of the happy carefree flight of the birds overhead. The set, costumes and lighting are more muted as appropriate to Cavalleria Rusticana’s Easter Sunday setting.

Cavalleria’s set is quite minimalistic with the outline of the church to right and a high gantry stretching over the village square, centre-stage to the dwellings, including those of Lola and Mamma Lucia, to the right. Santuzza has a shadowy glimpse of Lola’s illicit lover as the drama begins. That lover is her own Turiddu (José Cura). Santuzza is devastated. Paoletta Marrocu acts very convincingly as Santuzza: vulnerable, anguished and embittered, she becomes bent on vengeance then remorseful when she realises her betrayal of Turiddu to Alfio will lead to inevitable tragedy, and Turiddu’s death. Santuzza’s heartbreak is almost unbearably moving. Marrocu’s vocal range is impressive: steady on her high notes and strong and colourful in mid-range. She is pious as she leads the villagers in the famous Easter Hymn, rancorously needling in her accusatory duet with Turiddu and remorsefully sorrowful when she realises the implications of her treachery. Cheyne Davidson, looking like some vengeful American gangster thunders darkly and impressively in his role as the cuckolded husband Alfio. José Cura impresses strongly as the philandering Turiddu, taking advantage of all the expressive opportunities in the role - flamboyantly serenading Lola, hotly rejecting Santuzza’s appeals to his better nature and sorrowing and appealingly vulnerable when, in a near drunken stupor, he realises his fate and pleads with his mother to look after Santuzza if he loses his duel with Alfio.

Stefano Ranzani conducts with authority and passion from the exquisite detail of the lush violin passages in the Cavalleria Rusticana overture to the darkly dramatic double murder music that is the climax of Pagliacci.

A visual treat."

-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Liliana Nikiteanu (Soprano), Irène Friedli (Alto), Cheyne Davidson (Baritone),
José Cura (Tenor), Paoletta Marrocu (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stefano Ranzani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
I Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Gabriel Bermudez (Baritone), Fiorenza Cedolins (Soprano), José Cura (Tenor),
Carlo Guelfi (Baritone), Boiko Zvetanov (Tenor)
Conductor:  Stefano Ranzani
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 

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