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.
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
Mario del Monaco (tenor), Elena Nicolai (soprano), Aldo Protti (baritone), Annamaria Anelli (mezzo-soprano), Laura Didier (mezzo-soprano)
Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Clara Petrella (soprano), Aldo Protti (baritone), Mario del Monaco (tenor), Piero Di Palma (tenor), Alfro Poli (baritone), Afro Poli (baritone), William D. Brohn (work arranger), Piero de Palma (tenor)
Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia