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CD Review

Ruggero Leoncavallo

Philips 438132

Pagliacci

  • Luciano Pavarotti, Canio (Pagliaccio)
  • Daniela Dessì, Nedda (Colombina)
  • Ernesto Gavazzi, Beppe (Arlecchino)
  • Juan Pons, Tonio (Taddeo)
  • Paolo Coni, Silvio
Philadelphia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti
Philips 438132-2 1992
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This is a recording of stage performances. At this point, February of 1992, Pavarotti had not performed this role on the stage. He shows an amazing grasp of the score. One feels lucky not to be on the receiving end of his knife. He was matched note for note by Daniela Dessi. She has a strong Soprano which is very flexible at all dynamic levels. Juan Pons, in one of his signature roles, sang the Prologue as written. Without the high notes, it was still exciting. Paolo Coni's upper ranges sounded stressed. At times it sounded as if he could reach but not sustain the higher notes. Ernesto Gavazzi was well cast as Peppe. The sound quality was excellent. The orchestra and Riccardo Muti showed a fine grasp of the rhythmic possibilities in the score. The tenors in the chorus could have been stronger, but were still a force to be reckoned with. The libretto contains only the English translation of the opera. If you are unfamiliar with the opera and Italian, this could hamper your enjoyment.

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker.

Trumpet