THE ITALIAN INTERMEZZO Music without words. Verdi, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Wolf-Ferrari, Mascagni, Ponchielli etc. BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda. Chandos

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The Italian Intermezzo Music Without Philharmonic Orchestra Gianandrea Noseda Chandos

THE ITALIAN INTERMEZZO – Music without words

Verdi (1813-1901): La Traviata, Prelude to Act III

Leoncavallo (1857-1919): I Pagliacci, Intermezzo

Puccini (1858-1924): Edgar, Preludes to Act I&III / Suor Angelica, Intermezzo / Manon Lescaut, Intermezzo

Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948): I Quattro Rusteghi, Intermezzo / Jewels of the Madonna, Intermezzo

Mascagni (1863-1945): L’Amico Fritz, Intermezzo

Ponchielli (1834-1886): La Gioconda, Dance of the Hours

Cilea (1866-1950): Adriana Lecouvreur, Intermezzo

Giordano (1867-1948): Siberia, Preludio / Fedora, Intermezzo to Act II

Catalani (1854-1893): La Wally, Act III & IV Intermezzo / Loreley, Dance of the Water Nymphs

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda

The intermezzi recorded on this CD are, in the main, orchestral mood-painting interludes found in the great Italian operatic repertoire of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, usually connecting acts in the opera. The music is powerfully atmospheric, designed not only to create the right mood for the ensuing action of the opera, but also providing some respite from the drama itself. The exception is Ponchielli’s famous ballet, Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda, which like most ballets found in operas, gives a break from the drama of the opera and provides the audience a chance to enjoy an entertaining ballet whilst, in this case, listening to some of the catchiest music in the repertoire. Indeed, this scintillating ballet was immortalized in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia and has long been one of the most popular classics in the repertoire.

The rest of the items on this CD range from the very well known and haunting Act III Prelude from La Traviata, to the sparkling items from Wolf-Ferrari’s Jewels of the Madonna and I Quattro Rusteghi, and the richly-romantic intermezzos from the great Verismo composers of Leoncavallo, Puccini, Giordano and Cilea, though the rare items by Catalani are no less enjoyable.

Italian maestro Gianandrea Noseda is in his element in this, his native repertoire. Noseda has made many noted recordings with his BBC Philharmonic orchestra for Chandos, praised for their brilliance of sound as well as their musical excellence. Noseda’s superb musicianship in both the operatic and orchestral repertoire combine on this release to produce one of his very finest recordings. The programme here is unique.

Chandos Records CHAN10634

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