LEONCAVALLO Pagliacci (Galli)

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Opera

Label: Dynamic

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CDS7863

CDS7863. LEONCAVALLO Pagliacci (Galli)

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Pagliacci, 'Players' Matteo Mezzaro
Leon Kim
Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus
Valerio Galli
Valeria Sepe
Devid Cecconi
Angelo Villari

It might seem strange that, six months after releasing a Cavalleria rusticana from Florence’s Maggio Musicale (10/19), Dynamic should be releasing a film (plus, as is its custom, audio-only recording) of Pagliacci from the same source. It features the same tenor, baritone, conductor and creative team. Federica Parolini’s Cav set looks like it’s hiding in the shadows throughout, the action of Pag left to play out in the space in front. Each show was in fact unveiled as part of double bills with other works – eight months apart – although presumably they will be united in the theatre’s programme at some stage.

As it is, this is an enjoyable, effective performance of Leoncavallo’s work. Angelo Villari is a powerful singer, with impressive ringing tone, even if he doesn’t quite command the feral strength one ideally needs for the moment Canio breaks through from artifice to reality. He’s not helped, admittedly, by Luigi Di Gangi and Ugo Giacomazzi’s production: a deliberately grubby, grungy affair that makes little attempt to set up that boundary. The commedia dell’arte play within-the-opera, for example, is performed unconvincingly on a collection of movable platforms.

Villari receives good support from Devid Cecconi’s sturdy, malevolent Taddeo. Valeria Sepe is a convincingly free-spirited and impulsive Nedda who attacks the role with commitment and passion. Leon Kim is a seductive-sounding Silvio and Matteo Mezzaro makes a strong impression as a sweet-toned Beppe. There’s some fine playing from the orchestra, especially in the filigree of Nedda’s aria, and Valerio Galli offers once again conventional conducting that, though idiomatic, is unlikely to set the world alight.

Anyone who picked up and enjoyed the Cav from this source needn’t hesitate in adding its stablemate here. Otherwise, though, there are more interesting and glamorously sung releases of both works that are more recommendable – recent versions from the Salzburg Easter Festival (Sony Classical, 5/16) and Royal Opera House (Opus Arte, 12/16) for starters.

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