Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jr. Mario Basiola, Leone Paci, Gino Bechi|
Leoncavallo: Pagliacci/Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
A very good performance
Genady Sigal | Qiryat Ono Israel | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first opera, Pagliacci is the '34 recoring with Gigli and Pacetti. Gigli makes a very good Canio, although his voice, a lyric tenor, is not the most suitable for this role. Iva Pacetti is a great dramatical soprano, but Nedda's part is extremely small. Basiola left a very good impression on me - his prologue is one of the best i've heard, standing in line with Ruffo's and Amato's. The other two roles are sung well, however they are insignificant.The second recording we hear in the set is '40 Cavalleria Rusticana, conducted by Mascagni himself. Before the opera begins there is a record of his speech. Gigli is a great Turiddu. His voice is passionate and suits the part very well. Lina Bruna Rasa is a good soprano, however her voice is a bit too rough for Santuzza. Speaking of Santuzza, you should hear the duet between Gigli and Dusolina Gianinni: if there is a perfect Santuzza, it is Gianinni. Bechi dissappointed me. I expected from him to sing, and not to shout. I don't know what came into him, since his voice is very powerfull and mobile enough, whick supposed to suit the role. To make a reference to what I think to be an excelent Alfio, you should hear Rolando Panerai in the recording with Callas and Di Stefano.Overall: **** - a must have album, a very good performance generally speaking."
Amazing to hear such old recordings
Larry Bridges | Arlington, MA United States | 05/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I realize that much older musical recordings exist, of course, but it's astonishing to hear the opening notes of the overture to "Pagliacci" and realize that I am hearing music recorded three years before my 62-year-old great-aunt was born. This recording preserves excellent performances of both operas, and the "Cavalleria Rusticana" recording surely has a claim to some kind of definitiveness, since it is conducted by the opera's composer, Piero Mascagni. Mascagni even gives a spoken introduction to the performance (in Italian). Gigli lives up to his reputation as one of the century's great tenors. The recording comes with a booklet with complete libretti of both operas and Italian and English texts of Mascagni's spoken introduction to "Cavalleria" (although one quibble I have is the absence of any stage direction at the very end of the "Cavalleria" libretto; it should say that both Mama Lucia and Santuzza faint, as stated in other libretti for this opera that I have seen). At this extremely reasonable price (due to the age of the recordings and their low sound quality compared to more modern ones--although they remain highly listenable), this is clearly the recording of "Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana" to buy."