Pietro Mascagni

Pietro Mascagni Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni (; 7 December 1863 – 2 August 1945) was an Italian composer best known for his operas, such as his 1890 masterpiece ''Cavalleria Rusticana'' which caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the ''Verismo'' movement in Italian dramatic music. While it was often held that Mascagni, like Ruggiero Leoncavallo, was a "one-opera man" who could never repeat his first success, ''L'amico Fritz'' and ''Iris'' have remained in the repertoire in Europe (especially Italy) since their premieres. Mascagni said that at one point, ''Iris'' was performed in Italy more often than ''Cavalleria'' (cf. Stivender).

Mascagni wrote fifteen operas, an operetta, several orchestral and vocal works, and also songs and piano music. He enjoyed immense success during his lifetime, both as a composer and conductor of his own and other people's music. He created a variety of styles in his operas: a Sicilian passion and warmth of ''Cavalleria'', the exotic flavor of ''Iris'', the idylls of ''L'amico Fritz'' and ''Lodoletta'', the Gallic chiaroscuro of ''Isabeau'', the steely, Veristic power of ''Il piccolo Marat'' and the over-ripe post-romanticism of the lush ''Parisina.''
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