Intermezzo from Cavalliera Rusticana (1889)
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
Pietro Mascagni was young, ambitious and poor. His unfulfilled early ambition was to create a four-act romantic opera. Instead, fortune smiled on the young composer when he won a competition for aspiring young opera composers held by an Italian music publisher. The one-act opera he produced, Cavalliera Rusticana, immediately became a popular trend setter. It featured quick-paced action with down-to-earth characters, mimicking the theatre and becoming a model for the “verismo” style. The throbbing orchestral intermezzo, imbued with typical Southern Italian fervour, provides some respite from the fiery passion of the opera’s plot.
Performed: 2000, 2004, Aug 2013