Notes and Editorial Reviews
L’Amico Fritz, Mascagni’s second opera, is as unlike his first and most popular, Cavalleria Rusticana, as any two operas could be. Whereas the earlier opera is painted in dark tones, Fritz tends to be bathed in lighter, pastel colors. The opera, with its rural setting and story of the search for true love, has a happy ending, and even a good guy (David) who happens to be Jewish. It is also beautiful from start to finish. This recording was completed in August, 1968, and it caught both Pavarotti and Freni at their freshest and most charming.
The score abounds with lovely melodies, and both singers do them justice. Highlights are Suzel’s first-act “Son pochi fiori” (sound clip); her
second-act, four-stanza aria and the following, justly famous “Cherry duet”; and Fritz’s high-lying final-act aria. Baritone Vincenzo Sardinero contributes some good work as the matchmaking Rabbi David, and the rest of the cast, with far less to do, does it well. Conductor Gavazzeni keeps the ambience light and gives his wonderful singers plenty of leeway (and some optional high Cs for Pavarotti). The sound is crisp and clear.
-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
L'Amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni
Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Laura Didier-Gambardella (Mezzo Soprano),
Malvina Major (Soprano),
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor),
Vincente Sardinero (Baritone),
Luigi Pontiggia (Tenor),
Benito Di Bella (Baritone)
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Written: 1891; Italy
Date of Recording: 1968
Venue: EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, England
Length: 93 Minutes 0 Secs.
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