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Puccini: Orchestral Music / Chailly, Berlin RSO


Release Date: 02/13/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000837302   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A well-played and well-recorded Erato issue (STU71040, 6/78) gave us valuable recordings of the Preludio sinfonico and Capriccio sinfonico well as the Prelude to Act 1 of Edgar written for the Madrid revival, but this new Decca issue does even better by giving us a whole disc of Puccini early works. Crisantemi, an elegiac piece of 1890, is already available in its original string-quartet form from the Alberni Quartet on CRD (CRD1066, 3/80), but with both its main themes later used in Act 3 of Manon Lescaut it is eminently suited to a full string orchestra. So are the three little Minuets of the same period, pastiche eighteenth-century pieces of a kind that Elgar also favoured at the time. Puccini used some of the material not just in the Read more levee scene of Marion Lescaut but more unexpectedly as the opening theme of Act 1, where an idea, here light and elegant, is given symphonic punch.

The earliest work on this disc is the Preludio sinfonico of 1876, written when Puccini was 18. As in other early works the melodic writing is warmly persuasive but lacks a final Puccinian distinctiveness, sounding more like Mascagni. Chailly, a degree more flexible than Scimone on the Erato version, leads up well to the brass fanfares of the climax. In the Capriccio sinfonico we have the intriguing experience of registering the first fully Puccinian inspiration emerging, when after a warm but rather bland preludial passage there suddenly emerges at full force the theme which was later to open Acts 1 and 4 of La boheme, representing the Bohemians themselves. Here it gets incongruously mixed with what in effect is a waltz theme, though, even in that, Puccini manages to inject a snapping perfect cadence of the kind with which he later peppered La boheme. Written as a school-leaving exercise for the Milan Conservatoire, it is a striking work for a beginner, and well worth having on record.

As to the items from the early operas, the two from Le villi make an effective contrast—the opening prelude here taken much slower and more lovingly than on Lorin Maazel's complete set (CBS 76890, 5/81). The rather longer central interlude, "L'abbandono" (the desertion preceding the brilliant "La tregenda"), is left out presumably because it needs a chorus at the beginning and end. The Edgar Prelude written for Madrid is not included in the complete CBS set (79213, 1/78) but makes an effective enough piece on its own, as does the Act 3 Prelude with an eerie march theme leading to a reprise of love themes. Even so, the Manon Leseaut item with its Italianate echoes of Wagner's Tristan shows how far Puccini advanced there in his first mature opera. The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra plays for Chailly with real warmth, and the digital recording is both brilliant and vivid.

– Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [3/1983]
reviewing the original LP release of this title
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Works on This Recording

1.
Capriccio Sinfonico by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Italy 
2.
Crisantemi "Elegy" by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1890; Italy 
3.
Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
4.
Preludio Sinfonico by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
5.
Le Villi: Act 1 Prelude by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 
6.
Edgar: Act 1 Prelude by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Italy 
7.
Edgar: Act 3 Prelude by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Italy 
8.
Minuets (3) for String Quartet by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 
9.
Le Villi: Intermezzo no 2 "La Tragenda" by Giacomo Puccini
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 

Sound Samples

Preludio Sinfonico
Capriccio Sinfonico
Le Villi - Opera in 2 Acts / Act 1: Prelude
Le Villi - Opera in 2 Acts / Act 2: La Tregenda
Edgar / Act 1: Prelude
Edgar / Act 3: Prelude
Minuetto I
Minuetto II
Minuetto III - Ed. Pietro Spada
Manon Lescaut / Act 3: Intermezzo
Crisantemi

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