Pietro Mascagni


Pietro Mascagni

Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. Mascagni’s first masterpiece Cavalleria Rusticana, written in 1890, unfortunately overshadows his later works.

Life and Music

  • Mascagni’s father, a baker, wanted him to become a lawyer, but his uncle enabled him to study music.
  • Mascgani’s wife can take credit for ensuring the success of Cavalleria Rusticana early on – she entered it into a competition for a one-act opera held by the publisher Sonzogno in 1888. It won and, following a production in Rome, it was soon performed all over the world.
  • Mascagni enjoyed considerable success during his lifetime, but unfortunately today he is known almost solely for Cavalleria Rusticana.
  • In fact he wrote 15 operas, an operetta, orchestral, vocal and piano music.
  • Mascagni conducted orchestral music and opera, and conducted at La Scala for a while in the 1930s.

Did you know?

Cavalleria Rusticana is short, and so today it is usually performed with Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci.


Top Mascagni Pieces