Tune of the Day: Intermezzo
Premiered in 1890, Cavalleria rusticana (literally, “Rustic Chivalry”) is undoubtedly the best-known work by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni. This one-act opera is a concise, passionate tale of Sicilian peasants, with lashings of love, jealousy and tragic death.
A powerful orchestral intermezzo, simply known as “Intermezzo sinfonico”, divides the opera into two scenes. This famous Intermezzo recapitulates, in its 48 bars, what has gone before, and foreshadows the tragedy that is impending.
The piece has figured in the soundtrack of several films, most notably in the opening of Raging Bull and in The Godfather Part III, which featured a performance of Mascagni's opera as a key part of the film's climax.