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 Bohčme, 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 Bohčme (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

Opera In English - Puccini: Tosca / Parry, Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 05/21/1996   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3000   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Puccini: Tosca -highlights /Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 05/22/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3066   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Puccini: La Bohčme / Parry, Haymon, Et Al
Release Date: 07/21/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3008   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Puccini: Turandot / Parry, Eaglen, Et Al
Release Date: 11/26/2002   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3086   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Turandot / Borkh, Tebaldi, Erede
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Urania  
Catalog: 121202   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tosca: Recondita armonia

Browse 226-250 of 268 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helge Rosvaenge Vol 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89211 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Gerhard Hüsch,  Wilhelm Strienz,  Margarete Teschemacher  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Erwin Baltzer,  Hanns Steinkopf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 227.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helge Roswaenge
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89018 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Rudolf Wille,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Rudolf Moralt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 228.
    Prima Voce - Caruso In Opera Vol 2
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7866 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Anton Rubinstein,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Nellie Melba
    CD: $11.99
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  • 229.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Galliano Masini
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1067 Release Date: 12/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Francesco Cilča,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Galliano Masini,  Carlo Tagliabue
    CD: $17.99
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  • 230.
    Domingo Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61406 Release Date: 09/13/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Zubin Mehta,  Edward Downes,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 231.
    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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  • 232.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Puccini
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443819 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Renata Tebaldi,  Pilar Lorengar,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 233.
    The Essential 3 Tenors / Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 21273 Release Date: 07/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Giacomo Aragall,  Juan Pons,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Luis Garcia-Navarro,  Daniel Oren,  Edward Downes,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra,  Seville Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 234.
    Granada - The Greatest Hits Of Placido Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445777 Release Date: 07/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Helen Guy,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Walter Gullino,  Rosalind Plowright,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Karl-Heinz Loges,  Marcel Peeters,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
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  • 235.
    Puccini: Tosca -highlights / Tilson Thomas, Marton, Carreras
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53550 Release Date: 06/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Italo Tajo,  Juan Pons,  Joszef Németh,  Eva Martón  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian State Orchestra,  Hungarian State R/TV Chorus
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  • 236.
    Jon Vickers - Italian Opera Arias
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1016 Release Date: 05/05/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Jon Vickers
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra
    On sale! $16.98
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  • 237.
    Prima Voce - Bjorling Vol 2
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7842 Release Date: 05/02/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Sjöberg,  Karl Millöcker,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Hjördis Schymberg,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 238.
    Famous Tenor Arias / Harper, Czecho-slovak Rso, Halász
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550497 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Harper
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 239.
    Italian & French Opera Arias / Peter Dvorsky, Lenard
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550343 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Agustín Lara,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Dvorsky
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 240.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Mario Filippeschi Vol Ii
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1084 Release Date: 02/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Filippeschi,  Salvatore Catania,  Afro Poli,  Rosetta Noli  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Morelli,  Vincenzo Bellezza,  Umberto Mugnai,  Argeo Quadri  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Orchestra,  Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 241.
    Jan Kiepura Volume 1
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9976 Release Date: 11/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Frédéric Chopin,  Traditional,  N. Rutkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Kiepura,  Otto Herz,  Wolfgang Rebner,  Urstein,
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Robert Stolz,  Hans Swarowsky,  Werner Schmidt-Bölke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Odeon-Künstler Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 242.
    Opera's Greatest Love Songs - Pavarotti, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61886 Release Date: 10/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Varády,  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Herbert von Karajan,  Henry Lewis,  Nello Santi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 243.
    Ti Amo - Puccini's Greatest Love Songs
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425099 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Tom Krause,  Montserrat Caballé,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Herbert von Karajan,  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 244.
    Puccini: Tosca Highlights / Oren, Kabaivanska, Pavarotti
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61807 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Raina Kabaivanska,  Ingvar Wixell,  Franco Federici
    Conductor:  Daniel Oren
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
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  • 245.
    Mad About Tenors
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439517 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gullino,  Placido Domingo,  Rosalind Plowright,  Susanne Mentzer  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 246.
    Mario Del Monaco
    Label: London/Decca Grandi Voci   Catalog: 440407 Release Date: 08/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Agustín Lara,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco,  Piero de Palma,  Fernando Corena,  Athos Cesarini  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Ernesto Nicelli,  Franco Capuana,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 247.
    Mad About Puccini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439151 Release Date: 07/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Juan Pons  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein,  Roberto Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 248.
    The Best Of Puccini
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551120 Release Date: 06/28/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Miriam Gauci,  Thomas Harper,  Jonathan Welch,  Luba Orgonasova  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Michael Halász,  Will Humburg,  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 249.
    Prima Voce - Antonio Cortis
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7850 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Cortis,  Simeon José Serrano,  Joaquin Gaztambide,  Amadeo Vives  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Cortis
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 250.
    Prima Voce - Beniamino Gigli Vol 1 1918-1924
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7807 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Luigi Denza,  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Josef Pasternack,  Carlo Sabajno
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