Ruggero Leoncavallo


Born: 1857   Died: 1919   Country: Italy   Period: Romantic
Ruggero Leoncavallo is remembered almost exclusively for his opera I Pagliacci, which -- along with Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana -- has become the hallmark of the late nineteenth century verismo style. Leoncavallo studied composition at the Naples conservatory and literature at Bologna University; this dual passion for music and poetry would lead the young composer to seek a unity between the two disciplines in the manner of Richard Wagner, Read more whose music would come as a revelation.

His first operatic efforts were thwarted by ill fortune: a production of his student work, Chatterton, fell through after the impresario made off with the money Leoncavallo himself had furnished to cover the costs. However, after several years of scraping by as a café pianist, he was introduced to the influential publisher Giulio Ricordi, who bought the rights to Chatterton and engaged Leoncavallo as a librettist. While this signified a temporary improvement in the young man's circumstances, the creative alliance between Leoncavallo and Ricordi proved frustrating. Ricordi declined his next opera, I Medici, and his attempts at a libretto for Puccini's Manon Lescaut led to irreconcilable creative differences.

These combined misfortunes instilled in Leoncavallo a singular desire for operatic success, which he channeled into his masterpiece, I Pagliacci. Modeled on Mascagni's Cavalleria, Pagliacci was an instant sensation at its premier in 1892. From that point onward, Leoncavallo enjoyed fame and wealth, although the success of this work was never to be repeated.

In 1897 Leoncavallo produced a setting of La Bohčme that was meant to rival that of Puccini, but, although it pleased the public somewhat, Puccini's finer and more sophisticated work quickly outstripped Leoncavallo's in popularity. Subsequent re-workings of Chatterton and I Medici proved to be dismal failures in Italy, but I Medici sufficiently impressed the Kaiser of Germany to gain a commission for a new work, Der Roland von Berlin (1904), which enjoyed modest success in Berlin. However, Leoncavallo never again gained his footing in Italy, where his works formed a succession of spectacular failures and tepid successes.

The advent of recording technology was fortuitous for Leoncavallo, who conducted I Pagliacci in the first complete recording of an Italian opera. He also accompanied Enrico Caruso in a recorded performance of the song, "Mattinata," which has become his most popular work after Pagliacci. Read less
Leoncavallo: Pagliacci
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660021   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba

Browse 1-25 of 180 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Louis Fremaux Icon: Complete Birmingham Years
    Label: Wb / Parlophone   Catalog: 560476 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $33.99
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  • 2.
    101 Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4782977 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    CD: $39.99
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  • 3.
    Label: Notable, Inc.   Catalog: 23912 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucio Dalla,  Stanislas Gastaldon,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Pasquale Esposito,  Mayssa Karaa,  Renato Serio,  Ettore Gatta
    Conductor:  Renato Serio
    CD: $15.99
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  • 4.
    Label: Notable, Inc.   Catalog: 23911 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Lucio Dalla,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Gatta,  Mayssa Karaa,  Pasquale Esposito,  Renato Serio
    Conductor:  Renato Serio
    CD: $23.99
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  • 5.
    The Great Placido Domingo
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556098 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Ezio di Cesare,  John [Bass Vocals] Macurdy  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn,  Nello Santi,  Riccardo Muti,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rondalla Lirica de Madrid
    CD: $37.49
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  • 6.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 7.
    Arias & Scenes from Operas / Anjaparidze
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002373 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Zurab Anjaparidze,  Oleg Klenov,  Tamara Milashkina,  Valentina Levko
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler,  Boris Khaikin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Domingo: The 50 Greatest Tracks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002412702 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Hans Sotin,  Robin Leggate  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Claudio Abbado,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 10.
    The Mario Lanza Collection
    Label: Acrobat Records   Catalog: 7091 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Emanuele Nutile,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Bronislaw Kaper  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza
    CD: $37.49
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  • 11.
    Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88697757882 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras,  Placido Domingo
    CD: $6.99
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  • 12.
    The Age of Puccini / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002359802 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Riccardo Zandonai,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilča,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Rosa Feola,  Cristina Reale,  Eva-Maria Westbroek  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano,  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra,  Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Chorus  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Mario Lanza - Greatest Operatic Recordings, Vol. 2
    Label: Sepia   Catalog: 1289 Release Date: 08/07/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilča,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Spoken Word,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza,  Constantin Callinicos,  Frances Yeend,  Marina Koshetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Ray Heindorf,  Constantin Callinicos,  Eugene Ormandy,  John Green  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 14.
    Greatest Operatic Recordings
    Label: Sepia   Catalog: 1274 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Friedrich v. Flotow,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Constantin Callinicos,  Mario Lanza,  Frances Yeend,  Mary Jane Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Callinicos,  Jakob Gimpel,  Eugene Ormandy,  Miklós Rózsa  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 15.
    My Life is an Opera / Roberto Alagna
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002267302 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Charles Gounod,  Anton y Michelena  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Aleksandra Kurzak
    Conductor:  Yvan Cassar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 16.
    Marcelo Alvarez: 20 Years on the Opera Stage
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3472 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marcelo [Tenor Vocals] Alvarez
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Opera - The Ultimate Collection / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002181302 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Barbara Frittoli,  Matteo Peirone,  Verónica Villarroel  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda,  Placido Domingo,  Zubin Mehta,  Marco Armiliato  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Valencia Community Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $28.49
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  • 18.
    50 Great Arias / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002153502 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Michael Volle,  Margarete Joswig  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Claudio Abbado,  Donald Runnicles,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 19.
    The Early Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 975792 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros,  John McCaw,  Franklyn Whiteley  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Nello Santi,  Sherrill Milnes,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $21.49
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  • 20.
    3 Tenors In Concert 1994 [20th Anniversary] CD+DVD
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633737 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Agustín Lara,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Paul Anka  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Il Mito Dell'opera: Pedro Lavirgen
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Pedro Lavirgen
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  David [Tenor Vocal] Hamilton,  Allan Glassman,  Paul Plishka  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Giuseppe Patané,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    John Mccormack: A Star Ascending, Odeon Recordings 1906-1909
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54005 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Traditional,  T.D. Sullivan,  Arthur Warren Darley,  Andrew Cherry  ... 
    Performer:  John McCormack
    CD: $73.99
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  • 24.
    One Chance [original Soundtrack]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301047 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ennio Morricone,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Neal Cooper,  Paul Potts,  Jan Bengtson,  Per Magnusson  ... 
    Conductor:  David Snell,  Gavin Greenaway,  Henrik Janson,  Ulf Janson  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Giuseppe Vendittelli, Vol. 2
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1231 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Vendittelli,  Enrica Guarrini,  Magda Olivero,  Bianca Berini
    CD: $17.99
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