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Giacomo Puccini

Biography

Born: 1858   Died: 1924   Country: Italy  
Giacomo Puccini was the most important composer of Italian opera after Verdi. He wrote in the verismo style, a counterpart to the movement of Realism in literature and a trend that favored subjects and characters from everyday life for opera. On his often commonplace settings Puccini lavished memorable melodies and lush orchestration. It was around the turn of the twentieth century that he reached his artistic zenith, composing in succession his Read more three most popular and effective operas, La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly.
Young Giacomo took organ lessons early on from his uncle, Fortunato Magi, and later from Carlo Angeloni. At ten, he sang in local church choirs and by age 14 was freelancing as an organist at religious services. His first compositions were for organ, often incorporating operatic and folk elements. By age 18, under the spell of Verdi's Aida, he decided he would study composition with a view to writing opera. At around this time, he composed his first large-scale work, a cantata, Preludio Sinfonico, for an 1877 competition. Other pieces came in the next few years, but none of significance.
In 1880, Puccini entered the Milan Conservatory, where he studied for three years under Ponchielli and Bazzini. While there, he wrote his first opera, Le villi, which he once more entered in a competition. Though he lost, Arrigo Boito and, more importantly, publisher Giulio Ricordi helped arrange a premiere in Milan on May 31, 1884. The work was enthusiastically received, and Puccini was on his way.
Around this time the composer met Elvira Gemignani, wife of a merchant in Lucca. They carried on an illicit affair, and she gave birth to his son in 1886. When her husband died in 1904, the two were married. Puccini's next opera, Edgar, was poorly received at its 1889 premiere. Subsequent revisions failed to rescue it from its encumbering libretto. His next effort, however, Manon Lescaut, was a sensational success at its 1893 Turin premiere. Subsequent performances in Italy and abroad bolstered the composer's growing reputation.
Puccini's next three operas confirmed his preeminence in Italian opera. La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904) were not immediately as successful as Manon Lescaut, but in time achieved greater acclaim. By the middle of the twentieth century, they had become -- and remain today -- his most often performed and recorded works.
Puccini suffered a creative dry spell for a time and was unable to finish another opera until the moderately successful La fanciulla del West (1910), which premiered in New York with Toscanini conducting and Caruso singing the role of Johnson. His sluggishness of inspiration owed much to charges by his wife he was having an affair with a servant girl, charges that drove the hapless, and as it turned out, innocent young girl to suicide in 1909.
In 1913, Puccini accepted a lucrative commission from Vienna interests, which resulted in La rondine. Received warmly at its 1917 Monte Carlo premiere, it faded under the judgment it was the least of his operatic efforts. Puccini followed this disappointment with his trilogy of one-act operas, Il trittico -- comprised of Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi -- all premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1918. Only the latter work, a comedy, was well received.
While Puccini was working on his last opera, Turandot, he was diagnosed with throat cancer (1923). During radiation treatment in Brussels, he suffered a heart attack and died on November 29, 1924. Read less
Renata Tebaldi - The Classic Puccini Recordings
Release Date: 03/11/2003   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 473045   Number of Discs: 12
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Puccini: La Boheme - A Film By Robert Dornhelm / Netrebko, Villazon [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/15/2009   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4601   Number of Discs: 1
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Puccini: La Bohème / Karajan, Freni, Pavarotti, Et Al
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 421049   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Turandot / Mehta, Sutherland, Pavarotti, Caballé
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 414274   Number of Discs: 2
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Un Bel Dì - Puccini Scenes & Arias / Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Herbert Von Karajan, Et Al
Release Date: 07/08/2008   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001147202   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: La Bohème: Musetta's Waltz

Browse 126-150 of 168 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Amore - Opera's Greatest Romances / Price, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63299 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Cesare Valletti,  Anna Moffo,  Rosalind Elias,  Alan Titus  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Rafael Kubelik,  Sir Colin Davis,  Jonel Perlea  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 127.
    Amor - Opera's Great Love Songs
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458201 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Mirella Freni,  Frederica Von Stade  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 128.
    Von Der Königlichen Hofoper Zur Staatsoper Unter Den Linden
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89403 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Josef Mann,  Ludwig Suthaus,  Paula Buchner  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 129.
    Four Austrian Sopranos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89973 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Maria Reining,  Luise Helletsgruber,  Berta Kiurina
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  • 130.
    The Ultimate Puccini Collection / Pavarotti, Carreras, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460380 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Montserrat Caballé,  Angela Gheorghiu  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  John Mauceri,  Herbert von Karajan,  Alberto Erede  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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  • 131.
    Callas Edition - Puccini: La Bohème - Highlights / Votto
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66670 Release Date: 06/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Manuel Spatafora,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Rolando Panerai,  Anna Moffo  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonino Votto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 132.
    Puccini Gala - Famous Arias / Caballé, Carreras, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458212 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Montserrat Caballé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Tom Krause  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Lorin Maazel,  Nello Santi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 133.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Xenia Belmas Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89153 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jules Massenet,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Xenia Belmas
    Conductor:  Alexander Kitschin
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  • 134.
    Bidu Sayao - La Damoiselle Elue, Opera Arias
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63221 Release Date: 12/09/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Bidu Sayao,  Rosalind Nadell
    Conductor:  Pietro Cimara,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fausto Cleva,  Paul Breisach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Concert Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 135.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 136.
    Le Delizie Dell'amor / Andrea Rost, Mackerras
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62789 Release Date: 10/07/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Andrea Rost,  Aquiles Machado
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 137.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
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  • 138.
    Aria - Eugenia Zukerman Plays Favorite Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3209 Release Date: 06/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis Helmrich,  Allan Vogel,  Eugenia Zukerman
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  • 139.
    Ying Huang / James Conlon, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62687 Release Date: 06/03/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional,  Qinng Zhu,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Huang Ying
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 140.
    Puccini And Pasta
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454723 Release Date: 08/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Montserrat Caballé,  Sylvia McNair,  Pilar Lorengar  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  John Mauceri,  Giuseppe Patané,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 141.
    Renata Tebaldi - The New York Farewell Recital / Martin Katz
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1116 Release Date: 11/28/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Martin Katz
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  • 142.
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Raina Kabaivanska
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev,  Rouslan Raychev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Varna Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 143.
    Puccini - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64597 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Eva Martón,  José Carreras,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Emerson Buckley,  Lorin Maazel,  John Pritchard,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 144.
    Puccini: La Bohème (Highlights) / Humburg, Orgonasova, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553151 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luba Orgonasova,  Ivan Urbas,  Fabio Previati,  Jonathan Welch  ... 
    Conductor:  Will Humburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 145.
    Hilde Güden - Die Frühen Aufnahmen 1942-1951
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90176 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Grothe,  Robert Stolz,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Gueden,  Karl Friedrich
    Conductor:  Gerhard Steeger,  Hans May,  Josef Krips,  Wilhelm Loibner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Vienna Promenade Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 146.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Erna Berger
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89035 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Erna Berger,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Charlotte Müller,  Heinrich Schlusnus  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Schüler,  Fritz Zweig,  Clemens Krauss,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 147.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Erna Berger Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89092 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Oboussier,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Altmann,  Erna Berger,  Eta Harich-Schneider,  Hans-Walter Schleif  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Wolfgang Martin,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 148.
    Movies - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66709 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  William Byrd,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Vladimir Feltsman,  Nina Stemme,  Adriana Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Leonard Bernstein,  Zubin Mehta,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Canadian Brass  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 149.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Love Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443599 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  William Matteuzzi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Leone Magiera,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Chorus,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 150.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Opera For Everyone
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443818 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  Giuseppe Patané,  Richard Bonynge,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus  ... 
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