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 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
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Cura, Cedolins, Nikiteanu [blu-ray]
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 109170   Number of Discs: 1
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Leoncavallo: Zaza / Jaho, Benini, BBC Symphony
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Opera Rara  
Catalog: 55   Number of Discs: 1
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Leoncavallo: La Nuit De Mai / Vaglieri, Porta, Savona So
Release Date: 01/01/2003   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 423   Number of Discs: 1
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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana; Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci / Urmana, La Scola
Release Date: 11/20/2007   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 983   Number of Discs: 2
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Leoncavallo: Complete Chamber Songs / Meszáros, Et Al
Release Date: 01/29/2008   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 570   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Mattinata

Browse 1-25 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   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: $181.49
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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
    On sale! $24.99
    CD: $22.99
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  • 4.
    Italia / Juan Diego Florez
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002375802 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernesto De Curtis,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Stefano Donaudy  ... 
    Performer:  Juan Diego Flórez,  Avi Avital,  Ksenija Sidorova,  Massimo Jean Gambini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Tenan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gioachino Rossini Philharmonic
    CD: $15.99
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  • 5.
    My Italian Soul
    Label: Sepia   Catalog: 1286 Release Date: 08/07/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emanuele Nutile,  Enrico Toselli,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza,  Jakob Gimpel,  Dominic Frontiere
    Conductor:  Constantin Callinicos,  Carlo Savina,  Franco Ferrara,  Paul Baron  ... 
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 6.
    Stars Der Oper
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Amelita Galli-Curci,  Ezio Pinza  ... 
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Giulio Setti,  Bruno Reibold,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 7.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    Most Wanted Recitals! Giuseppe Valdengo - Italian Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002109702 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Augusto Rotoli,  Luigi Denza,  Renato Brogi  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Valdengo
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede
    CD: $12.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 12.
    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: $21.99
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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Caruso In Song
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61640 Release Date: 11/29/2011   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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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 Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Arriverderci: Grigolo (17 track version)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 793774 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernesto De Curtis,  Renato Rascel,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo,  Dan Thomas,  Daniele Bonaviri
    Conductor:  Pier G. Morandi
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
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  • 22.
    Icon / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001591602 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di 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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  • 23.
    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 Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo
    Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 24.
    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
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  • 25.
    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: $15.99
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