February 28, 2024


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Review by Thomas Hengelbrock – Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana

Review by Thomas Hengelbrock – Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana

Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar Neumann ensemble brilliantly present Mascagni’s one-act play Cavalleria Rusticana in the original version.

Verismo is not just Verismo. Even in a recording of “Cavalleria Rusticana” from 1938 conducted by Pietro Mascagni, the composer rarely flexed his very impressive biceps. Thomas Hengelbrock opened lines like the exquisite choral verse of Alfio’s Kutscherlied and restored some passages that had been transposed down a full tone for the two major parts back to the original keys. The overall result looks stunning and with an elegance rarely expected from Mascagni and grown here. Carolina Lopez Moreno gives Santuzza a light, dark fragrance, not really heavy. Giorgio Peruggi’s tenor, which is more careful than loud, contributes to the highly individual color of the work. Balthazar Neumann’s orchestra works with Mediterranean lightness, bringing the piece to a more mellow tone until the final, eerie strings. Brave performance.

© Florence Grandidier

Thomas Hengelbrock

Thomas Hengelbrock

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana (original version)

Carolina Lopez Moreno (Santuzza), Giorgio Perugi (Torrido), Elisabetta Fiorello (Lucia), Choir and Band Balthazar Neumann, Thomas Hinglebrook (Director).

The Balthazar Neumann Choir is a vocal ensemble specializing in historical performance practice. The choir was founded in 1991 by conductor Thomas Hengelbrock in Freiburg im Breisgau. Since its establishment, the principle, work and performance conditions…continuous

His trademark is dramatically unusual programmatic concepts. His great passion is historical performance practice. Thomas Hengelbrock, Principal Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, is an extremely versatile conductor who initially began his musical career as a violinist. 1958…continue

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