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The Eternal City

Donald Macleod explores Mascagni's experiences of Rome and looks at some of his works connected with the city.

Composer of the Week marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Pietro Mascagni, who triumphed in his early twenties with his opera Cavalleria Rusticana and, during his lifetime, was one of the most famous figures in Italy. He came to prominence just as Verdi was entering old age and Italy was searching for a new maestro. Mascagni's good looks and charm ensured that his fame spread worldwide. He continued to write operas although none achieved the success of his early hit. Towards the end of his life, he found himself marginalised from new currents in Italian music and having to associate himself with Mussolini's fascist regime.

'I am tied to Rome by great affection. It is to Rome that I owe my artistic baptism, it is in Rome that I have made a home where my dearest memories are kept' said Mascagni towards the end of his life. From the premiere of Cavalleria Rusticana, the opera that made his name, to his final opera, Nerone, the city of Rome played an important part in Mascagni's life, not least because it was where he met the love of his life, Anna Lolli. The former chorus girl would become his mistress for 35 years, until the composer's death. Donald Macleod looks at the composer's links with Rome from 1905.

Cavalleria Rusticana (Intermezzo)
National Philharmonic Orchestra; James Levine (conductor)

Le Maschere (Furlana)
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste; Tiziano Severini (conductor)

Parisina (Aria du rossignol)
Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni (soprano); Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon; Enrique Diemecke (conductor)

Isabeau (Voi siete il re)
Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni (soprano); Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon; Enrique Diemecke (conductor)

Luciano Ganci (tenor); Filarmonica '900 Teatro Regio Torino; Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

The Eternal city
Filarmonica '900 Teatro Regio Torino; Gianandrea Noseda (conductor).

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 4 Dec 2013 18:30

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