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Puccini, Catalani E Ponchielli - Per Orchestra / Muti


Release Date: 05/12/1998 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 63025   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Amilcare PonchielliAlfredo CatalaniGiacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It makes an apt coupling having the long-buried pieces by Ponchielli (Puccini’s teacher) and Catalani (his contemporary from the same city, Lucca) alongside the three most impressive examples of Puccini’s early orchestral writing. Like Puccini’s Preludio and Capriccio the works by Ponchielli and Catalani have been resurrected by the Italian musicologist, Pietro Spada, and similarly offer easily lyrical invention from composers who, like Puccini, were concentrating on opera.

The Ponchielli Elegia sustains its length well up to passionate climaxes, rather like film music. The two Catalani items were both arranged from piano pieces, the Scherzo a charming dance, Contemplazione much more ambitious, leading to a tender and hushed
Read more reprise of the opening theme (track 3, 8'32''). The orchestration was evidently made for the Scala orchestra’s appearance at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.

Welcome as those compositions are, it is striking that the Puccini pieces are markedly more memorable, above all in their melodic writing. That is immediately apparent in the free-flowing Preludio sinfonico, and “La tregenda” (“Witches’ Sabbath”), the dance interlude from Puccini’s first opera, Le villi, is the most brilliant of his early inspirations.

The Capriccio sinfonico, the longest piece here, was written as a graduation exercise, very well orchestrated, with structure well controlled. A moment of revelation comes when the Allegro opens on the theme which Puccini later used for the opening of La boheme. Muti brings out the emotional warmth in all these works.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [9/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1. Elegy by Amilcare Ponchielli
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 12 Minutes 7 Secs. 
2. Scherzo by Alfredo Catalani
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3. Contemplazione by Alfredo Catalani
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4. Preludio Sinfonico by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5. Le Villi: Intermezzo no 2 "La Tragenda" by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
6. Capriccio Sinfonico by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1997 
Venue:  Teatro Abanella, Milan, Italy 
Length: 13 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 w o w - for preludio sinfonico in A opus 1 March 22, 2012 By charlotte dinowitz (monroe township, NJ) See All My Reviews "i love all of puccini's operas but when i heard this sinfonica at 5:30 a.m. it was just extraordinary. to add to my feelings about this tape when jeff sturgen remarked about this tape as well it just reinforced the emotion i felt and therefore had to connect with wqxr and order it" Report Abuse
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