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Mascagni: L'Amico Fritz / Gavazzeni, Pavarotti, Freni


Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 67373   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella FreniLaura Didier-GambardellaMalvina MajorLuciano Pavarotti,   ... 
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 33 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The score is consistently charming, elegiac, unassuming and well made. Any enterprising opera lover should own this pleasing work, when it is so charmingly performed.

This was one of the first sets I reviewed for GRAMOPHONE. Listening to it again, I found my pleasure in the work and admiration for its performance even further enhanced, so that Shaw's dictum that it is an opera which will "pass the evening pleasantly enough for you but which you need not regret missing if you happen to have business elsewhere" seems all that more unkind. When given as lovingly as it is here it has its own validity; the score consistently charming, elegiac, unassuming and well made, as I commented back in 1969, and these are
Read more qualities to be cherished in an age that has tended to overlook or ignore them in its own contributions to the genre.

What makes the reading so recommendable now is that one is very unlikely to hear the work today in the theatre and even less likely to hear it sung with such affection. At the point in their careers when Freni sang Suzel and Pavarotti Fritz, they were ideally suited to these roles. From her opening solo, through her ballad, the inspired Cherry Duet to her Third Act solo of sorrow, Freni sings with such warmth of tone and expression as to melt any heart doubting the worth of the music. She sounds at once vulnerable and wistful throughout. Pavarotti strikes just the right note of eager ardour as he gradually falls in Love with Suzel after averring that he is impervious to the emotion. He shades his part with elegiac accent and winning pianissimos. These Modenese neighbours obviously enjoyed singing together, and their contributions, not least their Third Act duet where they fall into each other's arms, alone make the recording worthwhile. But there are also Vincenzo Sardinero's firm, vibrant tones to turn the role of the matchmaking rabbi David into something positive and Gavazzeni's affectionate way with the orchestra to indicate Mascagni's care over instrumentation.

I am less happy, as before, with the blustery Beppe, a too fulsome mezzo for a travesti part. But as a whole the pastoral-passionate mood of the piece is wonderfully caught—and recorded: I wish producers today could imitate this kind of natural, forward sound. Only the range of the orchestra shows the age of the recording—but that may have something to do with the dry tone of the Covent Garden strings. Any enterprising opera lover should own this pleasing work, when it is so charmingly done.

-- Gramophone [8/1987]
reviewing the original CD release of this title, EMI 47905
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. L'Amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Laura Didier-Gambardella (Mezzo Soprano), Malvina Major (Soprano),
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor), Vincente Sardinero (Baritone), Luigi Pontiggia (Tenor),
Benito Di Bella (Baritone)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1968 
Venue:  EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, England 
Length: 93 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Preludietto (Orchestra)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Ma questa e una pazzia! (Fritz/David/Hanezò/Federico/Caterina)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Son pochi fiori! (Suzel/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Orsu, vieni tra noi, al fianco mio... (Fritz/Suzel/Hanezò/Federico/David)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Chi mai sara? (Hanezò/Fritz/David/Federico/Suzel/Beppe)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Laceri, miseri, tanti bambini (Beppe/Fritz/Hanezò/David/Federico)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Viva lo zingaro! (David/Hanezò/Federico/Fritz/Caterina/Suzel/Beppe)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Per voi, ghiottoni inutili (David)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Il suo sermone e splendido! (Beppe/Federico/Fritz/David/Hanezò)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT ONE: Son gli orfanelli... (Hanezò/Beppe/Federico/Fritz/David/Coro)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Ah, le belle ciliege! (Suzel/Coro)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Bel cavalier, che vai per la foresta... (Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Suzel, buon di (Fritz/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Tutto tace (Fritz/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Oh! chi e che giunge? (Fritz/Suzel/Beppe/David/Hanezò/Federico)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Vediamo un po'! (David/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Faceasi vecchio Abramo (Suzel/David/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Come va? (Fritz/David)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Quale strano turbamento (Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Fritz, noi partiamo...addio! (Federico/Fritz/Hanezò/Beppe)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Che piu s'aspetta? (Federico/Fritz/David/Suzel/Coro)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT TWO: Intermezzo (Orchestra)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Tutto ho tentato... (Fritz/Coro)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Buon giorno, Fritz! (Beppe/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: O pallida, che un giorno mi guardasti (Beppe/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: O amore, o bella luce del core (Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: L'amico Fritz fantastica d'amore (David/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Povero Fritz, l'amore in te si desta... (David/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Non mi resta che il pianto ed il dolore... (Suzel/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Come s'e fatta pallida! (Fritz/Suzel)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Ah! ditela per me quella parola (Suzel/Fritz)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Amici, ho vinto, ho vinto! (David/Fritz/Beppe/Caterina)
L'Amico Fritz (2000 Digital Remaster), ACT THREE: Tu sposi, Fritz? (Federico/Hanezò/David/Fritz)

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