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Riccardo Chailly - Puccini: Orchestral Works (1983/1995)

16-03-2016, 09:55
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: Puccini: Orchestral Works
Year Of Release: 1983/1995
Label: Decca
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (log,tracks+cue)
Total Time: 0:59:12
Total Size: 277 Mb


01. Preludio Sinfonico 09:04
02. Capriccio Sinfonico 12:26
03. Le Villi - Opera in 2 Acts / Act 1 - Prelude 03:03
04. Le Villi - Opera in 2 Acts / Act 2 - La Tregenda 03:35
05. Edgar / Act 1 - Prelude 04:14
06. Edgar / Act 3 - Prelude 03:48
07. Minuetto I 04:05
08. Minuetto II 02:49
09. Minuetto III - Ed. Pietro Spada 03:06
10. Manon Lescaut / Act 3 - Intermezzo 05:24
11. Crisantemi 07:11

Giacomo Puccini - Composer
Riccardo Chailly - Conductor
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra

A well-played and well-recorded Erato issue (STU71040, 6/78) gave us valuable recordings of the Preludio sinfonico and Capriccio sinfonico well as the Prelude to Act 1 of Edgar written for the Madrid revival, but this new Decca issue does even better by giving us a whole disc of Puccini early works. Crisantemi, an elegiac piece of 1890, is already available in its original string-quartet form from the Alberni Quartet on CRD (CRD1066, 3/80), but with both its main themes later used in Act 3 of Manon Lescaut it is eminently suited to a full string orchestra. So are the three little Minuets of the same period, pastiche eighteenth-century pieces of a kind that Elgar also favoured at the time. Puccini used some of the material not just in the levee scene of Marion Lescaut but more unexpectedly as the opening theme of Act 1, where an idea, here light and elegant, is given symphonic punch.

The earliest work on this disc is the Preludio sinfonico of 1876, written when Puccini was 18. As in other early works the melodic writing is warmly persuasive but lacks a final Puccinian distinctiveness, sounding more like Mascagni. Chailly, a degree more flexible than Scimone on the Erato version, leads up well to the brass fanfares of the climax. In the Capriccio sinfonico we have the intriguing experience of registering the first fully Puccinian inspiration emerging, when after a warm but rather bland preludial passage there suddenly emerges at full force the theme which was later to open Acts 1 and 4 of La boheme, representing the Bohemians themselves. Here it gets incongruously mixed with what in effect is a waltz theme, though, even in that, Puccini manages to inject a snapping perfect cadence of the kind with which he later peppered La boheme. Written as a school-leaving exercise for the Milan Conservatoire, it is a striking work for a beginner, and well worth having on record.

As to the items from the early operas, the two from Le villi make an effective contrast—the opening prelude here taken much slower and more lovingly than on Lorin Maazel's complete set (CBS 76890, 5/81). The rather longer central interlude, "L'abbandono" (the desertion preceding the brilliant "La tregenda"), is left out presumably because it needs a chorus at the beginning and end. The Edgar Prelude written for Madrid is not included in the complete CBS set (79213, 1/78) but makes an effective enough piece on its own, as does the Act 3 Prelude with an eerie march theme leading to a reprise of love themes. Even so, the Manon Leseaut item with its Italianate echoes of Wagner's Tristan shows how far Puccini advanced there in his first mature opera. The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra plays for Chailly with real warmth, and the digital recording is both brilliant and vivid. --Edward Greenfield, Gramophone (reviewing the original LP release)

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