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Tchaikovsky and "verismo" composers

Dear ladies & gentlemen,

In this forum there has already been some discussion whether or not Tchaikovsky did know about Puccini and his music (which seems rather not to be the case); now, I am wondering whether Tchaikovsky did know about two other, important "verismo" composers, i.e. Alfredo Catalani (1854-1893), whose two most famous operas have indeed been performed during Tchaikovsky's lifetime (i.e. "Loreley", 1890, and "la Wally", 1892) and Umberto Giordano (whose opera "Mala vita" - the archetype of "verismo" style - has been performed in 1892; unfortunately, Giordano's most famous opera, "Andrea Chénier", has only been performed in 1896, that is after Tchaikovsky's passing; the same must also been said of Giordano's two "Russian" operas, "Fedora" (1898) and "Siberia" (1903))?

With many thanks in advance,

Guido Mühlemann
24/04/2013 20:55

With regard to the "verismo" I also remember lil post-discussion in this forum:

Antonio Garganese
25/04/2013 10:11

There is no mention of either composer in the Peoples section of tchaikovsky- where is listed the friends, associates and fellow musicians the composer knew..

Further in Wikipedia Catalani is described as ''Despite the growing influence of the verismo style of opera during the 1880's Catalani chose to compose in a more traditional manner. As a result his operas have largely lost their place in the modern repertoire..."...also..."The influence of Ponchielli can also be recognized in Catalani's work and like Ponchielli his reputation rests almost on one work...however while ''La Wally'' has only received only four performances at the Met Opera in New York, the Ponchielli work "La Gioconda" has received 287 performances at The Met....

Umberto Giordano received more fame....but it came after Tchaikovsky's death...furthermore these operas appeared late in the composers life and he simply may not have gotten around to have the chance to hear the ones already written in his lifetime....and so based on this information we may safely say that Tchaikovsky was unfamiliar with either composer...

In regard to Mascagni as has already been mentioned the composer had a favorable review of this work...the "Cavalleria Rusticana"....the one act opera that was Mascagni's only success in his long career...

Albert Gasparo
25/04/2013 14:07

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