- Pietro Mascagni - Verismo opera from a son of Italy [Recommended Recordings]
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Pietro Mascagni
Recommended Recordings

Callas Edition - Mascagni, Leoncavallo
(Maria Callas, Anna Maria Canali, et al; Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus, Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra; Tullio Serafin, conductor)
The singing is very good in this performance, and the acting (particularly by Maria Callas) is even better. Tullio Serafin, who has evidently studied Mascagni's own performances, knows how to get maximum impact without pushing the tempo or overstating the dynamics. It is particularly interesting to observe Callas bringing her dramatic skills into verismo operas. The gritty realism of these performances makes one regret that Callas didn't spend more time performing verismo opera. She is totally immersed in the characters, and intensely aware of the importance of the words in this kind of opera (though she also habitually gave a verismo intensity and nuance to the less compelling texts of bel canto). Giuseppe Di Stefano and Herbert von Karajan are outstanding in both of these short operas; Tito Gobbi has only the supporting role of Tonio in I Pagliacci, but he plays it for all it's worth and gives a classic performance of the great prologue. (review by Joe McLellan)

Cavalleria Rusticana
(Agnes Baltsa, Wiera Baniewicz, et al; Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus; Giuseppe Sinopoli, conductor)

L'Amico Fritz
(Giulia Abba Bersone, Armando Giannotti, et al; Italian Radio Chorus Turin, Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin)

L'Apotteosi della cicogna, Pinotta, Zanetto
(Anna Maria Borrelli, Rita Lantieri, et al; Livornese Comitato Estate Chorus, Livornese Comitato Estate Orchestra, et al; Mauro Ceccanti, Dirk De Calouwe, et al, conducting)


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