Ruggero Leoncavallo

Biography

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 Bohème 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: I Pagliacci / Cura, Frittoli, Keenlyside, Chailly
Release Date: 10/10/2000   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 467086   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Parry, Et Al
Release Date: 09/15/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3003   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba

Browse 1-25 of 283 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Richard Rodgers,  Agustín Lara  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 2.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Voices of Firestone DVD 4-Pack - Bjorling, Sutherland, Merrill, Stevens
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4938 Release Date: 04/07/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Georges Bizet,  Rudolf Friml,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Risë Stevens,  Jussi Björling,  Anne-Lisa Björling,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Voice of Firestone Orchestra
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  • 4.
    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  ... 
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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    The 50 Greatest Tracks / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922802 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Kathleen Battle,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 7.
    The Best of Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894302 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Renée Fleming,  Barbara Vignudelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 8.
    Famous Opera Arias / Pedro Lavirgen
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Pedro Lavirgen
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  • 9.
    Richard Tucker - The Opera Recital Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543283 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Dorothy Kirsten,  Eileen Farrell,  Daniza Ilitsch
    Conductor:  Fausto Cleva,  Nello Santi,  Franz Allers,  Wilfrid Pelletier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Fausto Cleva,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 10.
    Franco Corelli: A Discographic Career
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 214 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Maria Curtis-Verna,  Piero de Palma,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Umberto Cattini,  Angelo Questa  ... 
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 11.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7705395 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giovanni Bononcini  ... 
    Performer:  Esther Réthy,  Adele Kern,  Anton Dermota,  Elena Nikolaidi  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Leopold Ludwig,  Rudolf Moralt,  Max Schönherr  ... 
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  • 12.
    Historical Recordings 1902-1914
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7700009 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Nellie Melba,  Antonio [Baritone Vocals] Scotti,  Ernestine Schumann-Heink  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter B. Rogers,  Giulio Setti
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  • 13.
    Enrico Caruso: Historical Recordings 1902-1914
    Label: Bel Age   Catalog: 7703692 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
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  • 14.
    Label: Bel Age   Catalog: 7703348 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár,  Ralph Benatzky  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Schmidt
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  • 15.
    Jussi Björling - Classic Arias & Duets Of Bizet, Puccini, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1080 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 16.
    The Essential Performances
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 6009 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Eduardo Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
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  • 17.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 50865 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    CD: $23.99
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  • 18.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 56003 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
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  • 19.
    Label: Avalon   Catalog: 57227 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Sartori,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nick Lucchese,  Attila Darvas,  Igor Romanyk,  Jerry Caringi  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Kremetz
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  • 20.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1007092 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli
    On sale! $37.99
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  • 21.
    Be My Love - Tribute To Mario Lanza / 	Joseph Calleja
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001743802 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Agustín Lara,  Renato Rascel,  Juventino Rosas  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra,  New London Singers
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    Placido Domingo Sings Caruso
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 195442 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jules Massenet,  Francesco Cilèa,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Sir Georg Solti,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 23.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    To Rome With Love / Original Soundtrack
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 543828 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Modugno,  Bruno Pallesi,  Alessandro Giovannini,  Alberto Pestalozza  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Messina,  Angelo DiPippo,  Fabio Armiliato,  Jeff Taylor  ... 
    Conductor:  Steven Bernstein,  Eddie Condon,  Carmine Pinto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Lescano
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  • 25.
    Jussi Bjorling's Last Concert
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9064 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Kerstin Meyer,  Olle Sivall,  Hjördis Schymberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Herbert Sandberg,  Kurt Bendix,  Lamberto Gardelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Opera Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus
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