McVicar's choice to treat the operas as two separate pieces is interesting. Yes, they're two different pieces by two different composers, but they share multiple common themes. Pagliacci's composition was, in fact, inspired by Cavalleria.
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The best way to describe Verdi's String Quartet in E minor is that it's just so very-very Verdi. Including it on a program such as this reveals similar dramatic flavors found in any of his operas.
To my childhood ears, her voice was deafeningly penetrating, almost like a howling, but to the public it was simply magic.
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