Puccini: Capriccio sinfonico - EP

Puccini: Capriccio sinfonico - EP

Puccini is best known for his operas, and Antonio Pappano has conducted works such as La bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca on many occasions. For his new EP with the London Symphony Orchestra, however, Pappano turns to a little-known orchestral piece from Puccini’s student days, the Capriccio sinfonico. Recorded live at The Barbican, London in June 2022, the Capriccio is described by Pappano as “dramatic and red-blooded Italian” in nature. “Puccini studied at Milan Conservatory from 1880 to 1883, and this piece was for his final concert in 1883. It’s very much a young man’s work in that, from one moment to the next, you’re going from despair to tenderness, and it immediately gained notoriety.” That notoriety was further cemented when, over a decade later, Puccini recycled part of the Capriccio in one of his most famous compositions. “There’s a whole chunk of music that was later used as the opening of La bohème. It’s music that has an innate hustle and bustle, and you hear the rough and tumble of Puccini’s youth, living in a studio with three other guys, among them the composer Mascagni.” Pappano is glowing in his praise for the London Symphony Orchestra, who had previously played the Capriccio on only rare occasions. “I think that the piece captivated the orchestra, and I was very excited to do it with them,” he comments. “Their energy, their curiosity, their sense of ensemble and their dynamism when they play for an audience is just something very, very special.” The high quality of the LSO’s performance is emphasized by the use of Apple’s Spatial Audio format for the recording. “Listening to this new audio technology has left me completely convinced that this is the way forward,” Pappano says. “The sense of space around the sound is remarkable, and you hear an orchestra as it’s meant to be heard, with the different sections interacting with each other. The sound is coming at you from everywhere. And it just gives you a fantastic picture of the music, as if you were looking at the score.” Puccini’s music, Pappano adds, particularly benefits from the Spatial Audio approach. “The Capriccio is very gestural, first dramatic, then moving on to a little episode of tenderness,” he explains. “So in terms of sound and recording technology, there are a lot of demands because you’re going from extremely loud to extremely soft and sweet. I found that listening in Spatial Audio, the storytelling of the music was so crystal clear. The gestures were very, very strong.” Certain instruments, Pappano continues, stand out especially vividly. “The sound of the timpani is just incredible, it really sounds like a roar of thunder. What is incredible is how much Spatial Audio captures each section very, very clearly. And yet you feel like you’re listening to one orchestra in a huge space, but not distanced. It’s right there in front of you.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada