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Opera In English - Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Parry, Et Al


Release Date: 09/15/1998 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 3003   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Dennis O'NeillPeter BronderRosa MannionWilliam Dazeley
Conductor:  David Parry
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraGeoffrey Mitchell ChoirPeter Kay Children's Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Hello ... Hello" is the neat rendition of "Si puo si puo", presumably unthinkable in the days which produced "A word allow me" as its translation. "A slice of life as we live it" replaces "life with its laughter and sorrow", "Will ye hear then the story?" becomes "Now you know what we're here for", and "Ring up the curtain" (can't do much about that) is now "Bring up the curtain". Two others: at the point in the Nedda-Silvio duet which inspired Fred Weatherly's couplet "For such a passion/The whip's the fashion", Edmund Tracey wisely renounces rhyme in favour of'! tamed him nicely ... I gave him a beating", and "Put on your Read more costume" (this is almost like rewriting The Book of Common Prayer) does for "On with the motley".

The text is one thing, the performance another. Opera singers are trained to pronounce their words in a very pure English which nowadays sounds more upper-class than it did not so long ago when all 'official' pronunciation was 'pure' in this sense. The "slice of life" involves travelling players and villagers, but they all sound like ladies and gentlemen: it takes some of the verity out of tierismo. There is of course a problem in all this. Similarly, one doesn't want the chorus to sound spontaneous by being less than well disciplined; on the other hand, their "Ha ha" at the play has something of the drilled amusement of a well-conducted studio audience. And, though vocal bluster and tears to drown the wind are not wanted either, there does need to be some infusion of Southern passion. On the whole (and perhaps it's a fault on the right side) I find the singing a shade too well mannered.

Dennis O'Neill's Canio is fine as to vocal resource and avoidance of cheapness; but "Un tal gioco" wants ironical bite, "Vesti la giubba" more sense of occasion, "No, Pagliaccio non son" more tension, bitterness and (at one point) sweetness. Rosa Mannion is an admirable Nedda, and both baritones do well, Alan Opie excellent in the Prologue, William Dazeley showing himself a lyric baritone of pleasing quality and tasteful style. The off-stage serenade is nicely sung by Peter Brander, and the chorus are fine. Over the years, David Parry's conducting has grown steadily in authority, and in the climax (menace in the accompaniment to "No, Pagliaccio" for instance) more than fulfils expectations. With effective work by producer and sound engineers, this is a Pagliacei which will enhance appreciation of the opera and take a worthy place in the eminently collectable series.

-- Gramophone [11/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
I Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Dennis O'Neill (Tenor), Peter Bronder (Tenor), Rosa Mannion (Soprano),
William Dazeley (Baritone)
Conductor:  David Parry
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir,  Peter Kay Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Pagliacci (sung in English): Prologue: Hello ... Hello ... (Tonio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Hey! They're back! They're Back! (Chorus, Canio, Beppe)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Aria: Your most humble servant (Canio, Chorus, Beppe, Tonio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Cantabile: If he tried it I promise you (Canio, Nedda, Chorus)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: You hear them playing? (Chorus, Canio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Introduction: The ugly look he gave me (Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Aria: Swallow, fly away (Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Duet: It's you! I thought that you had gone with Canio (Nedda, Tonio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Duet: Nedda! ... (Silvio, Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Why do you go on with this tormented life? (Silvio, Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: I must be strong (Nedda, Silvio, Tonio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: How can you tell me you ever loved me (Silvio, Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Be very careful, and then we can surprise them (Tonio, Silvio, Nedda, Canio, Beppe)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Introduction: Go on stage ... (Canio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Aria: Put on your costume (Canio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act I: Intermezzo
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: Ohe! Ohe! Quickly! Hurry! (Chorus, Tonio, Beppe, Silvio, Nedda)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: Pagliaccio, that's my husband (Nedda (Columbina))
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: Serenade: O Columbina (Beppe, Columbina, Harlequin)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: She's waiting. She is a goddess! (Tonio (Taddeo), Columbina)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: Arlecchin! Columbina (Columbina, Harlequin, Taddeo)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: Pour the potion in his glass at midnight (Harlequin, Columbina, Pagliaccio, Tonio)
Pagliacci (sung in English): Act II: The Play: Aria: No, we're not in a play! (Canio, Chorus, Silvio, Nedda, Beppe, Tonio)

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