Alfredo Catalani

Biography

Born: June 19, 1854; Lucca, Italy   Died: August 7, 1893; Milan, Italy  
Alfredo Catalani created richly romantic operas intended to create a synthesis of Wagnerian opera and Italian operatic tradition.

Lucca was home to two established musical families, the Puccinis and the Catalanis. Alfredo was born four years ahead of Giacomo Puccini. He and young Puccini both studied music, as boys, with Fortunato Magi, Puccini's uncle. Catalani's progress was rapid, and he was sent to Paris where he studied with Bazin,
Read more though he did not enroll at the Paris Conservatory. He returned to Lucca in 1873 to report for military service, but was rejected due to tuberculosis. He went to Naples to study with Antonio Bazzini. Bazzini introduced him to the salon of Clara Maffei, which was frequented by young artists, musicians, and literary figures like Arrigo Boito and Franco Faccio. They introduced him to Wagner's music, which made a large impression on him. Ignoring the developing trend of verismo opera, Catalani emulated Wagner in choosing, often, tales of the fantastic, with dramatic action. He received a commission from publisher Giovannina Lucca. The result, Elda, was based on the Lorelei legend and published in 1876 and performed in Turin with lukewarm results. Dejanice, the next opera, premiered in 1883 and did poorly.

Catalani was already in declining health due to his tuberculosis, and suffering from guilt over having an affair with his best friend's wife. He roused himself from depression to write a symphonic poem, Hero and Leander. Its success in 1885 gave him new confidence, and he wrote a successful opera, Edmea, premiered at La Scala in 1886. The same year he was appointed professor of composition, at the Milan Conservatory to succeed Ponchielli.

Giovannina Lucca's publishing firm had been promoting his career, but it merged with the more powerful Ricordi firm. Ricordi was promoting Giacomo Puccini's career, and neglected Catalani, seriously damaging his prospects. He hired the composer Zanardi to carry out his planned revisions to Elda. Catalani got no support from Ricordi, and had to arrange for a performance himself. Retitled Loreley, the opera was given on February 16, 1890, in Turin, and was a success.

During this time, Catalani had been devoting his dwindling strength to writing a new opera, La Wally, based on a German romance. The conductor Mascheroni realized that the success of Loreley might make Ricordi more receptive to this new opera. Though Catalani was embittered by his treatment by the firm, Mascheroni brought about a reconciliation. Ricordi accepted the work and promoted it, securing a La Scala premiere on January 20, 1892. It was a huge success, particularly after it was adopted by Arturo Toscanini, who conducted it widely and even named his daughter "Wally." Catalani is remembered today almost entirely for La Wally. He started another opera, based on a Tolstoy text, but soon after starting work suffered a hemorrhage, and died five days later. Read less
Catalani: La Wally / Rumpf, Kugel, Ferreira, Valentin, Langbein
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: 9005   Number of Discs: 1
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Catalani: Loreley / Suliotis, Gavazzeni
Release Date: 11/14/2000   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1265   Number of Discs: 2
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Catalani: La Wally / Scaglia, Olivero, Zaccaria, Zanini
Release Date: 06/13/2006   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1456   Number of Discs: 2
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Grand Tier - Catalani: Loreley / Gavazzeni, Cappuccilli
Release Date: 11/14/2006   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 7032   Number of Discs: 2
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Catalani: La Wally / Steinberg, Marton, Titus, Araiza
Release Date: 07/09/2008   Label: Eurodisc  
Catalog: 69073   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: La Wally: Ebben?... Ne andrò lontana

Browse 1-25 of 139 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Maria Callas Remastered - Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $279.99
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  • 2.
    Maria Meneghini Callas Sings Operatic Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634013 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Alfredo Catalani,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Pure / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633994 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    Pace Mio Dio... / Dinara Alieva
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3462 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Dinara Alieva
    Conductor:  Marcello Rota
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Lyric & Coloratura Arias
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra San Remo,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Modest Prima Donna
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1232 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Giannella Borelli,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Walter Susskind  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 50865 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    On sale! $21.96
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  • 10.
    Essential Film Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  James Horner,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Cécile Ousset,  Manuel Barrueco,  Steve Morse  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  David Abel,  Geoff Love  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    Icon: Maria Callas - La Divina
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23401 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $41.99
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  • 12.
    Lyric & Coloratura Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23073 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Alfredo Catalani,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
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  • 13.
    The Art of Renee Fleming
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001717202 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Bryn Terfel,  Ralph Salmins,  Steve Pearce  ... 
    Conductor:  Andreas Delfs,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Daniel Barenboim,  Paul Gemignani  ... 
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  • 14.
    Maria Callas - The Studio Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59776 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Monica Sinclair,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Antonio Tonini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $53.99
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  • 15.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner 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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  • 16.
    Opera Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707702 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Fausto Cleva,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 17.
    The Very Best Of Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 679002 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  Carlo del Monte,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Tullio Serafin,  Giuseppe Morelli  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Classical 2012 / Angela Gheorghiu, David Fray, Alison Balsom, Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6804032 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Natalie Dessay,  Alison Balsom  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Alison Balsom  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Les Talens Lyriques,  I Barocchisti  ... 
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  • 20.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84377 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Anita Cerquetti: A Vocal Portrait
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93479 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gasparo Spontini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Anita Cerquetti
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Vittorio Gui,  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Milan RAI Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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    On sale! $22.98
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  • 22.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828662 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu [Deluxe Edition]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31509 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $26.98
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  • 24.
    The Callas Effect [2 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84356 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    The Callas Effect [Standard Edition]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84362 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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