Contrary to the previous reviewer's statement this opera, given its premier in Buenos Aires 1911, is Mascagni's tenth opera not his third.
Also contrary to the prevoius reviewers comments, in his life time, it was a very popular opera, the Italian paper Corrier della Sera commenting,that Mascagni,'still knows how to give value to the sung word, still knows how to write an expressive and truely vocal melody'.
Another reviewer for, El Diario, praised the work for combining the,'lively and nuanced art of the admirable Debussy with the dramatic potency of the author of Salome'. Such was its popularity that the Corriere della Sera further observed that ,'Its financial success exceeded the most optomistic predictions'. Its popularity remained upto the eve of World War 2.
This recording can't realy be recommended for not only does it cut much beautiful music but the recording quality is hardly the best. A much better choice is the Bongiovanni, complete recording (GB2341/42-2) conducted by Kees Bakels with some excellent singing from Lynne Strow Piccolo as Isabeau. This recording is still listed as available on the Bongiovanni web site.
This is an opera which deserves to be more widely known and has much to recommend it. Give it a try and I am sure you will find much to enjoy!