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This is a mono-only transfer by Mark Obert-Thorn
Play Mendelssohn Finale:
Ettore Panizza's complete Mendelssohn
Plus rare recordings from Boero's Argentine opera, El Matrero
PANIZZA conducts MENDELSSOHN La Scala Orchestra, Milan
Hebrides Overture, “Fingal’s Cave”, Op. 26 Recorded in April, 1928 in Milan. Matrices: CF 1641-2 and 1642-2.
First issued on La Voce del Padrone AW 3984
Symphony No 4 "Italian" in A, Op. 90 Recorded 5th January, 1931 in Milan.
Matrices: CF 3731-2, 3746-2, 3647-1, 3748-3, 3749-2, 3750-2 and 2F 6-2.
First issued on La Voce del Padrone AW 245 through 248
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61 - Wedding March: Allegro vivace
Recorded 10th January, 1931 in Milan. Matrix: 2F 17-1.
First issued on La Voce del Padrone AW 248
PANIZZA conducts BOERO's El Matrero
Act 1 - "La Media Caña"
Act 1 - "El Canto del Hornero"
Act 1 - Pedro’s Aria and Trio
Act 2 - Trio
Act 2 - Duet (Act II Finale)
Act 3 - Trio (Act III Finale)
Pedro Cruz …………………………………………………. Pedro Mirassou (tenor) Pontezuela ………………………….………………………Nena Juárez (mezzo-soprano) Don Liborio ………………………………………………… Apollo Granforte (baritone)
Orquesta del Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. Recorded August, 1929 in Buenos Aires
Matrices: CVE 44700-3, 44701-2, 44709-2, 44710-3, 44702-5, 44708-2
First issued on (Argentine) Victor 9574 through 9576 in album S-2
As a result of the release (first on LP, more recently on CD) of a number of Metropolitan Opera broadcast performances from the mid-1930s through the early 1940s, Ettore Panizza is remembered today as one of the great opera conductors of the first half of the 20th Century, with particular distinction in the Verdi repertoire. But during his lifetime, his commercial discography was slim, filling fewer than three CDs’ worth of recordings. Nearly all of them were made with the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, where he served as an assistant to Toscanini; and, as one might expect, they center on the (largely operatic) works of Italian composers.
Two notable exceptions to the rule were Panizza’s recordings of Mendelssohn, all of which are contained on this release, and the scenes from Felipe Boero’s opera El Matrero, which he set down shortly after he conducted the world première on 12 July 1929. The latter is a particularly rarity in his discography in that it was the only recording he made in his native Buenos Aires, where he had been born of Italian parents, and it was also the only recording he made for the Victor label.
Victor’s involvement most likely came about because of the participation of Apollo Granforte, La Scala’s great baritone in the inter-war years, well-known to record collectors due to his participation in the complete Italian HMV recordings of Aida, Otello, Il Trovatore and Pagliacci, who was making his Colón debut that season. The excerpts chosen from the opera (whose title has been variously translated as The Sly One, The Artful Knave and The Bandit) center around his character, Don Liborio. (Other Matrero recordings were made around this time, including two discs of choral excerpts credited to another conductor, and two 10-inch sides with Nena Juárez on which no conductor or orchestra is identified on the label, and no matrix information is displayed which might tie it to the Panizza sessions.)
El Matrero was initially scheduled for three performances in July, 1929; but it caused such a sensation that another three performances were added for the following month, at which time the present recordings were made. They are particularly rare in that they were only issued in Argentina, and their only previous reissue was on the small historical vocal LP label, Club 99, in the 1970s. (I could find no reference of any complete recording of El Matrero ever having been made. A synopsis of the plot can be found lower down this page.) The Mendelssohn items have only previously been reissued on a two-CD set accompanying a Panizza biography published by La Scala.
The principal sources for the transfers were a black label Italian Voce del Padrone disc for the Hebrides Overture; a Victor Red Seal “Z”-type shellac pressing for the Italian Symphony and its filler; and “Gold” label Argentine Victor pressings for the Matrero set. A couple instances of blasting on the Matrero sides, as well as some overload distortion in the Midsummer Night’s Dream Wedding March, appear to be inherent in the original recordings.
- Mark Obert-Thorn
biographical notes from Wikipedia
Ettore Panizza (12 August 1875 - 27 December 1967) was an Argentinian conductor and composer, one of the leading conductors of the early 20th century.
A native of Buenos Aires, Panizza studied first with his father, who was a cellist at the Teatro Colón, and later in Milan. He made his debut as assistant conductor at the Rome Opera in 1897. He was closely associated with La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He also made guest appearances in Vienna, Berlin, etc.
Although not usually credited, he was the first to conduct Puccini's Turandot with the ending by Franco Alfano. The world premiere at La Scala on 25 April 1926 was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, who stopped at the point where Puccini had ceased writing before his death. Panizza conducted the second and later performances of the work as completed by Alfano.
Among the many creations he conducted are Francesca da Rimini by Riccardo Zandonai, Sly by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, and The Island God by Gian Carlo Menotti. He also conducted many local premieres in London, New York, and Milan such as Khovanshchina and La campana sommersa. He worked with singers such as Alessandro Bonci, Enrico Caruso, Nellie Melba, Rosa Ponselle, Ezio Pinza, and Beniamino Gigli.
Panizza also composed four operas; Il fidanzato del mare (1897), Madioevo Latino (1900), Aurora (1908), his most successful work, and Bizanzio (1939). He published his autobiography Medio Siglo de Vida Musical in 1952.
Panizza died in Buenos Aires in 1967.
notes translated & adapted from Spanish Wikipedia
El Matrero is an opera in three acts by composer Felipe Boero to a libretto by writer Yamandú Rodriguez.
Written in 1925, it was premiered on 12 July 1929 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, conducted by Ettore (Hector) Panizza, and became a milestone in the history of South American music. It has been performed more than fifty times in this theater alone.
It was one of the first Argentine operas written in the national language, and with it, Boero created one of the most representative works of opera in his country. He worked “with a fervor and enthusiasm as I had never felt.”
This opera is set in the world of the gauchos, the vast pampas of Argentina. To the gauchos (cattlemen), the Matrero is a thief. It tells a story of love and death at the end of the 19th century, between a bold robber and a courageous woman, coarse people who are not accustomed to expressing their feelings.
Boero’s music cleverly combines elements of Argentine folk music with the melodic language of Italian verismo. Using spoken dialogue, he was able to successfully adapt a text riddled with local idioms. The vivid picture was enhanced by splendid gaucho-style native dances, with La Media Caña one of its most widely known excerpts.
A piano/vocal score was published in Buenos Aires by Lottermoser in 1937, and also by Ricordi. It was adapted into a film by Orestes Caviglia in 1939, with performances by Agustín Irusta and Amelia Bence.
Character ... Voice Type ... Premiere Cast
Pedro Cruz ... tenor ... Pedro Mirassou
Pontezuela ... mezzo-soprano ... Nena Juárez
Don Liborio ... baritone ... Apollo Granforte
Zampayo ... tenor ... Atilio Muzio
Liberato ... baritone ... Fernando Traverso
Zoilo ... bass ... Ricardo Miguez
Pancita ... soprano ... Tina de Bary
Jacinta ... mezzo-soprano ... Josephine Cattaneo
Pirincho ... tenor ... Antonio Di Siervi
Aguará ... tenor ... Adeo Dellamelle
Braulio ... baritone ... Humberto Lambertucci
León ... tenor ... Mateo Tomas
Rudecinco ... bass ... Carlos Rattaro
Margarito ... bass ... Carlos Pederzani
El arriero ... n/a ... Ricardo Domínguez
Chorus ... mixed
The action takes place at a ranch on the Argentine coast.
Late afternoon. At the ranch of Don Liborio, a festival is going on, with guitars, singing, and the traditional dance, La Media Caña. A pall is cast over the joyful mood when talk turns to the Matrero, who walks in the woods, fleeing justice, and whom no one has yet seen.
Don Liborio’s daughter Pontezuela bursts in, followed by ranch hands and their foreman, Zoilo. On horseback, she had been following a suspicious fair-haired man who moved in the shadows. The ranch hands, afraid, ask if it could be the Matrero, but Pontezuela mocks their fears, saying it was just a nest of ovenbirds that had fallen during the night. Don Liborio notes the symbolic link between the ovenbird (hornero) and the traditional figure of the Matrero.
A guitar is heard. Pedro Cruz enters, singing a love song to Pontezuela. The singer and poet is received with hospitality, but the rough temperament of the young woman rejects the subtleties of romantic love.
Suddenly, there is general alarm. Zoilo believes he has recognized the singer’s horse as that of the Matrero. The men of the ranch surround Cruz with knives in hand, but Don Liborio, for whom the guest is sacred, comes out in his defense. As the people leave, still harboring their fears, the old man stands watch at the ranch.
The siesta. Don Liborio, Cruz and Zampayo chat. The poet mocks the fears of the Matrero, saying that the rumors about him are figments of imagination. Zoilo takes offense, and begins to argue with knife in hand, but the guest takes on a timid and cowardly attitude.
Cruz attempts to win Pontezuela’s favor, but she rejects him harshly. He calls upon her father for support, but Don Liborio does not want her to marry the vagabond poet, preferring her to wait for a hardworking and quiet husband. Cruz promises to work in the field, and wins the old man’s approval.
At this point, neighboring field hands arrive to search the grasslands for the hidden Matrero and bring him in, dead or alive. They all leave except Cruz, to whom Don Liborio promises the gaucho maiden.
Late afternoon. Father and daughter speak. The old man tells of his offer to Cruz, but she rebels. She says she is no ordinary woman; she has fought and worked like a man, and she wants to make her own choice.
Cruz arrives, and Don Liborio tells him of his failure to persuade Pontezuela. Cruz attempts to convince her that he has changed his life, but with great emotion, she confesses the truth: she is in love with the Matrero. Her feminine soul is attracted by achievement and effort, by courage and romance. Upon hearing this, Don Liborio orders his ranch hands to find and kill the Matrero; but Cruz promises Pontezuela that he will bring to her the lover of her dreams.
The grasslands are set on fire, and the flames corner the fugitive. Cruz staggers in, dying, calling out to Pontezuela, “I am your lover, the Matrero!” He perishes in her arms, with her father at her side.