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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
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Corelli
Release Date: 11/08/1991   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 63967   Number of Discs: 2
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Historical - Leoncavallo, Mascagni / Serafin, Callas
Release Date: 06/07/2005   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 86830   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Il Tabarro;  Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Leinsdorf
Release Date: 06/05/2009   Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal  
Catalog: 60865   Number of Discs: 2
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Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Muti, Pavarotti, Dessi, Pons, Et Al
Release Date: 04/13/1993   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 438132   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: Mattinata

Browse 1-25 of 111 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Angela Gheorghiu: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131302 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Daniela Vendemiati,  Giuseppe Crott,  Malcolm Martineau
    Conductor:  John Mauceri,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus,  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 2.
    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
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 3.
    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 [Soprano Vocal] Olivero,  Bianca Berini
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Mes Plaisirs... La Suite / Marc Hervieux
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22694 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Brel,  Claude Francois,  Gilles Vigneault,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Marc Hervieux
    Conductor:  Stéphane Laforest
    CD: $8.99
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  • 5.
    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,  Malcolm King,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 6.
    Amore / Joseph Calleja
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001921802 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Consuelo Velazquez,  Francesco Sartori,  Lucio Dalla  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja,  Ksenija Sidorova,  Nicola Benedetti,  Charles Mutter
    Conductor:  Steven Mercurio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    The Young Alfredo Kraus
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93482 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  José Luis Lloret,  Mario Cordone,  Enrique Estela
    Recommendation
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  • 8.
    Casa Mia / Marco Berti, Floraleda Sacchi
    Label: Amadeus Arte   Catalog: 501 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ruggero Leoncavallo
    Performer:  Marco Berti,  Floraleda Sacchi
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Forever Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001784502 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Lara,  Nicholas Brodszky,  Salvatore Cardillo,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcel Peeters,  Karl-Heinz Loges,  Herbert von Karajan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 11.
    Neapolitan Songs / Giuseppe Di Stefano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55926 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luigi Denza,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Pasquale Mario Costa,  Emanuele Nutile  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano
    Conductor:  G. M. Guarino
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1224 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Martinucci,  Virginia Zeani
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789972 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Paul Franke  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Renato Cellini
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  • 14.
    Caruso In Song
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61640 Release Date: 12/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Fermin Maria Alvarez,  Traditional,  George M. Cohan  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Francis Lapitino,  Ruggero Leoncavallo
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Walter Rogers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Italian & Neapolitan Songs / Chaiter, Zelickson
    Label: Roméo Records   Catalog: 7285 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Salvatore Cardillo,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Yoram Chaiter,  Irena Zelikson-Litchen
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  • 16.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 17.
    Dame Joan Sutherland - Complete Decca Studio Recitals  [23-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619502 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Nadine Sautereau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Richard Conrad,  Ambrose Gauntlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $99.98
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    MP3:  $69.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 18.
    Arrivederci / Vittorio Grigolo [Deluxe]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 791135 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 19.
    A Napoli / Marc Hervieux
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2620 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Gioachino Rossini,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Julie Triquet,  Daniel Bolshoy,  Marc Hervieux,  Louise-Andrée Baril  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Icon / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001591602 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Capua,  Luigi Denza,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  Giancarlo Chiaramello,  Anton Guadagno,  Herbert von Karajan,  Piero Gamba  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 21.
    Arrivederci / Vittorio Grigolo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 791134 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Songs / Kevin Kyle
    Label: Jcl Records   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Roger Quilter,  Robert Schumann,  Giuseppe Sarti  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Kyle,  Daniel Grimwood
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    You'll Never Walk Alone: The Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 96789 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucio Dalla,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Agustín Lara  ... 
    Performer:  Alfie Boe,  Natasha Marsh,  Christopher Maltman
    Conductor:  Valeriano Chiaravalle,  John Owen Edwards,  Terry Edwards,  Craig Leon  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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    MP3:  $7.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 24.
    The Pearl Fishers' Duet: The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1100 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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    MP3:  $6.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 25.
    Original Three Tenors - 20th Anniversary Special Edition [CD & DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001439900 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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