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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an absolute must have DVD
The Emmy that Franco Zeffirelli won for his film Pagliacci was justly deserved and the film speaks for itself. However, the underated Cavalleria Rusticana alone is worth the price of this DVD. A very young Placido Domingo is in truly fine form and his scene/duet with Elena Obratsova is really intense! Elena Obratsova is the real star of this film and her performance at...
Published on 9 Nov 2006 by S. France

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great performances; stupid second film
I've basically no complaints against the music or its performers. These aren't first-rate operas of course, but they're well worth hearing, rare survivors from a period which saw hundreds like them appear and quickly vanish into oblivion. They're performed very well here; Stratas is superb, Domingo is everything we've come to expect, and Obraztsova sings really more...
Published 16 months ago by Max


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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an absolute must have DVD, 9 Nov 2006
By 
S. France (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
The Emmy that Franco Zeffirelli won for his film Pagliacci was justly deserved and the film speaks for itself. However, the underated Cavalleria Rusticana alone is worth the price of this DVD. A very young Placido Domingo is in truly fine form and his scene/duet with Elena Obratsova is really intense! Elena Obratsova is the real star of this film and her performance at times can easliy move you to tears. Filmed in Sicily the cinema photography is beautiful and the quality of the sound is better then any version of Rusticana that I so far heard on CD. A truly outstanding production that stands way above the other opera movies from this era.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Cav and Pag, 2 Jan 2012
This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Cavalleria Rusticana was shot on location in Sicily and not in a theatre. This works very well with Zeffirelli's direction producing a very moving performance. Placido Domingo is wonderful both vocally and dramatically and is matched by Renato Bruson and Elena Obraztsova. Pagliacci is equally good, shot in La Scala but without an audience to distract. The camera stays on the action all through with no cuts to the orchestra or conductor. Teresa Stratas, as Nedda, acts brilliantly and Domingo is again in superb voice. Both operas are higly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 10 April 2012
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Addressing a couple of previous negative comments: First: the Top Menu requires you to click on the Act 1,2 etc for Pag - not on the Title. I thought I'd got a faulty DVD initially too having seen the earlier comment. Second: Ok the video quality isn't up to modern standards - it's a 30 year old film - but it's acceptable and much better on DVD/LCD TV than it was on VHS/CRT TV where I last saw it.

As for the content it's superb! The music and voices are excellent of course but the sound quality is also very good. For me Zeffirelli wonderfully captures the atmosphere of old Sicily in Cavalleria Rusticana and the gathering drama in Pagliacci. Both operas really send shivers down the spine! I like the facility to have the Italian sub-titles too which wasn't on the old VHS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great performances; stupid second film, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I've basically no complaints against the music or its performers. These aren't first-rate operas of course, but they're well worth hearing, rare survivors from a period which saw hundreds like them appear and quickly vanish into oblivion. They're performed very well here; Stratas is superb, Domingo is everything we've come to expect, and Obraztsova sings really more passionately than the music deserves. All my frustration is against the director; the first film is alright, but the second is wrecked by permanent extraneous noises layered on top of the music: twittering birds; shuffling feet; or, most unbearably, chattering, giggling, screaming brats throughout some two-thirds of the whole film. The idea was clearly to create atmosphere or whatever; personally I listen to operas because I enjoy music, and I hear recordings expecting to be rid of the coughing and moving which typically mar concerts. It quickly got to the point where I was dreading the slightest diminuendo, knowing that it would be ruined by the noises. I've nothing against opera films in general, but they only work as essentially filmed stage works, entirely focused on the music but taking advantage of more elaborate sets and production values than are possible in a theatre (Götz Friedrich's 'Salome' and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's 'The Barber of Seville' are wonderful examples). This disc is probably worth buying for the first film, but watching the second left me only infuriated.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NTSC disc, so the problem could be with your player., 11 Jan 2010
By 
flyinghyphen "flyinghyphen" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
The disc is NTSC Region 0, so should be playable on most modern DVD players.

Italian is the original language; sub-titles are in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese; the DVD menu is in English.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great production of this pair, 5 Nov 2010
By 
D. Neill "D.W.N." (Shrewsbury,Shropshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Domingo dominates this pair if operas and Stratas matches his standard,
The prologue to Paglacci, sung by Pons is the best I can recall. The production is well up Zeffirelli's great standard
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, 5 April 2010
By 
A. Williams "Haruki Murakami NUT" (Merthyr Tydfil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Be warned..... Deutsche Gramophone should be ashamed for releasing such poor, if not an appalling quality film. The film which was poorly made and released in video format was not that good the first time round, but I would have expected Deutsche Gramophone to have released this after being re-mastered, but sadly they seem more concerned in making a quick buck... How anyone can watch it is beyond me. I was so looking forward to this and especially as the DVD cover has been revamped and gives one the impression that the recording has too. That's the only thing Deutsche Gramophone did to this... The DVD cover....So as I've said BE WARNED! ... Personally I never thought that Franco Zeffirelli managed to capture the essence of the opera, and the semi stage and open-air production doesn't work. One or the other, but not mixed is my opinion so what is the point of struggling on, when there are far better ones on the market. Save your money.. Or buy my copy...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faulty DVD, 12 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I have old videos (from the TV) of the two operas which i think are outstanding and was looking forward to the better quality of the DVD.
I was a bit disappointed with the film quality of Cav. and I could not get Pagliacci to open. I returned the disc but the replacement was the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable films, moving performances., 7 Jan 2011
This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Both films are powerful and very watchable. Colour could be a shade deeper and images sharper, but that is a minor issue because overall the picture quality is quite acceptable. Glad I bought this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 28 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
In spite of the headline, I have a mixed opinion of this DVD. Cavalleria Rusticana is absolutely superb. The filming is atmospheric and the singers were the all-time greats. A wonderful production of this opera.

The weak aspect of the DVD was a rather mediocre production of Pagliacci. It just did not work for me. The singers did their best, but it was a tedious film. A pity, as this is such a brilliant opera.
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Mascagni/Leoncavallo - Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci [DVD] [2005]
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