From Section 3, "The Attitude of the Critics":
The musician from Livorno is still not talked about according to autonomous evaluation criteria, but still according to old ideas which are quite unfortunately reiterated ad nauseam and used like a worn sock. Important names – and the situation is serious just for this reason - are still relying on these ideas today, making it even easier to perpetuate critical opinions which are more than out of date. For example, the constant allusion, still made in recent publications, to the "verismo" of Mascagni, when talking about any of his compositions, is the measure of the superficiality with which the matter is treated. It ignores that it has been largely shown that the so-called "verismo" period was in fact very brief and that the characterization of this period presents notable difficulties to the point where it appears, after a serious analysis, extremely ambiguous. It ignores or, even worse, it pretends to ignore, that the protagonists of "verismo", with Mascagni at the helm, diverged from it quite rapidly. It does not take into account at all that their artistic production has largely been under the influence of the extremely various and powerful cultural climates that followed each other with increasing frequency since the last century. In the case of Mascagni, this is instead interpreted according to the old idea that his changes of direction were subordinated to a sort of obstinate search to renew the success of Cavalleria. Massimo Mila had this concept of Mascagni over forty years ago. If we used greater speculative reason, instead of constantly playing the same disc that repeats opinions formulated in cultural conditions light-years away from us, we would reach conclusions as provocative, but at least they would be supported by the courage of the argumentation. Or we would realize that the change of the direction of these composers in fact reflected a superior capacity to absorb the artistic needs that appeared around them and that imposed themselves to the times
This is particularly satisfying for those of us who:
a) Have a huge, huge crush on Mascagni's beautiful music
b) Think that Parisina is probably his (forgotten) masterpiece
c) Usually roffle whenever we read something about Gian Carlo Menotti and we run into the famous "mid-Mascagni" quote, a Stravinskyan slur hurled against poor GCM, a big big thing for those hatin on the Livornese composer -- as if, you know, "mid-Larry Bird" were somehow a bad thing to say about a NBA player (because we know Bird couldn't jump couldn't shoot etc, lolz).
For her understanding of Cavalleria Rusticana, Opera Chic owes a huge debt to two essential Mascagni conductors: the modern approach is all Gianandrea Gavazzeni's (CR seen as Art Nouveau artifact, a refined popular gem), and the even trickier, oldskool approach is Riccardo Muti's (CR as masterpiece of precision and clarity, barging ahead through electric shocks of action).
In closing: suk it h8rz lol