Leoncavallo: Two Songs for Voice and Piano

Ed. P. Spada. Bèrben/Breitkopf

The music won't be everyone's cup of oversweetened tea; but at least the sugar has flavour, which is the nearest he gets to dating the original holographs (held in the Library of Congress): “È  difficile determinare una data di composizione” (the English version of the foreword simply omits that not very taxing phrase). He also seems to have had some difficulty in reading the French texts by Silvestre and Chenier, to judge by the half-dozen obvious blunders in transcription. On the former, a warning note needs to be sounded for unwary singers. The drawing-room context surely demands the reading “yeux” not “jeux” in bar 17. The lady's “jeux” might also have lit up in the dark, as Silvestre says, but that would have been more suitable for the smoking room.      

The Musical Times, May 1977