[mascagni-interest] Web site updates

Erik Bruchez erik at bruchez.org
Fri Dec 5 08:59:41 CET 2003

Dear list,

The following items were silently added to the Web site lately:

1. The complete libretto of L'amico Fritz, by, well, Nicola Daspuro,
    with some additions by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti. It looks like
    nobody wanted to see his name on the libretto, which was printed
    under the alias P. Suardon.


2. A recent edition, on label Guild, of the live performance of
    Cavalleria Rusticana conducted by Mascagni in the Hague, in the
    Netherlands, in 1938:


    There are at least three other editions of this performance, all on
    CD (on Bongiovanni, Grammofono 2000, and The 40's Label). I don't
    think this performance was ever released on 78 rpm or LP. The liner
    notes of this new edition mention that one original disc was
    missing from the set. The Bongiovanni and Grammofono editions
    clumsily fill the missing passage with some music from the 1940
    Cavalleria, with Gigli instead of Melandri! The Guild version
    instead blends in a version with Melandri from an earlier 1930
    performance, which turns out to be a much better choice, even
    though the edit is noticeable if you pay attention. I don't have
    the 40's Label version right there, so I can't check how they
    filled the missing passage.

    I have to say that I don't care much for Melandri as Turiddu, but
    this is otherwise an excellent performance, and possibly the only
    live performance (besides maybe the short Canto del Lavoro)
    conducted by Mascagni that we have! Santuzza is sung by Lina Bruna
    Rasa, who also sang in the better known 1940 performance with

    The day before this performance, Mascagni recorded this rare
    speech, which miraculously made it to our time. If you haven't
    listened to this yet, well, it is still time:


3. A recent edition, on label Warner Fonit, of L'amico Fritz, also
    conducted by Mascagni:


    The liner notes mention that this was recorded between October 28 -
    November 4, 1942, and that it was broadcast by EIAR (now RAI) on
    November 5, 1942. I guess those dates may be correct. The previous
    release on Cetra mentioned a recording date of 1941.

4. A version of the famous Cherry Duet from L'amico Fritz, directly
    from original 78 rpms:


    Dino Borgioli is Fritz, and Rosetta Pampanini is Suzel. The sound
    quality is not too great, but the excerpt is very enjoyable.

5. Two arie from Isabeau sung by Bernardo De Muro, also from original
    78 rpms:


    De Muro sung the role of Folco in Isabeau 382 times!!! That is
    almost unimaginable. And you still read nowadays that all of
    Mascagni's operas were failures... De Muro's autobiography is
    entitled, accordingly, "Quand'ero Folco" ("When I was Folco"):


6. A few posters of relatively recent performances of Mascagni operas
    in Belgium and Italy for Cavalleria, Rapsodia Satanica, Nerone, and
    I Rantzau:


    I particularly like the Rantzau poster (see it in full here:

7. A terrible obituary published in Time Magazine in 1945:


    It is beyond me that such an insulting piece made it in that
    magazine. I was not sure I wanted to put this online, but I guess
    it illustrates very well the rampant prejudice against Mascagni and
    his music.



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