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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


MASCAGNI, Pietro
b Leghorn, 7 December 1863
d Rome, 2 August 1945, aged eighty-one

His father forbade him to study music, intending him for the law, so he took lessons secretly. When his father found out an uncle came to the rescue and adopted him, and he made such rapid progress that the first performances of his works were given when he as only sixteen. He was able later to go to the Milan Conservatory to study under Ponchielli, who was also Puccini's teacher. He travelled as conductor with a touring opera company, then married, and settled down in a small town to manage the municipal school and give piano lessons. He rose to instant fame with Cavalleria Rusticana but nothing he wrote subsequently made a comparable mark. He once said: 'It is a pity I wrote Cavalleria Rusticana first; I was crowned before I was king!' He supported Italy's fascist regime, but with Mussolini's overthrow Mascagni was stripped of his property and honours, and spent his last years in poverty and disgrace in a small hotel room in Rome.

1879 (16)

Symphony in C minor

1881 (18)

Symphony in F major

In Filanda, for voices and orchestra

1890 (27)

Cavalleria Rusticana, opera

1891 (28)

L Amico Fritz, opera

Solemn Mass

1892 (29)

I Rantzau, opera

1895 (32)

Guglielmo Ratcliff, opera

Silvano, opera

1896 (33)

Zanetto, opera

1898 (35)

Iris, opera

1901 (38)

Le Maschera, opera

1905 (42)

Amica, opera

1911 (48)

Isabeau, opera

1913 (50)

Parisina, opera

1917 (54)

Lodoletta, opera

Satanic Rhapsody

1919 (56)

Si, opera

1921 (58)

ll Piccolo Marat, opera

1932 (69)

Pinotta, opera

1935 (72)

Nero, opera

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