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Mario del Monaco

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (2CD)

These new re-masterings cast fresh light on seminal recordings of ‘Cavalleria rusticana’ and ‘Pagliacci’ both featuring Mario del Monaco. He was in his prime when he recorded Turiddu and Canio, and his performances in both recordings could hardly be more spine-tingling. ‘Cavalleria rusticana’ was recorded in 1954 and ‘Pagliacci’ in 1953. Franco Ghione’s feeling for the lyricism of Mascagni’s score is clear from the outset, reminding us that although this music is usually regarded as marking the birth of ‘verismo’, it is in many ways a continuation of the Bellinian love affair with the vocal line. Alberto Erede conducts a grippingly dramatic ‘Pagliacci’. The scoring is brilliant and Erede makes the most of it. Lavished with praise when first issued, they are released from hibernation to enjoy new life on CD.


Cavalleria rusticana

Santuzza: Elena Nicolai
Turiddu: Mario del Monaco
Mamma Lucia: Annamaria Anelli
Alfio: Aldo Protti
Lola: Laura Didier
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala, Milano
Franco Ghione


Canio: Mario del Monaco
Nedda: Clara Petrella
Tonio: Afro Poli
Beppe: Piero de Palma
Silvio: Aldo Protti
Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Alberto Erede