LICINO REFICE (1883-1954): Cecilia.
Catalogue Number: 01Q045
Reference: GB 2472/73-2
Description: A priest whose career was spent teaching sacred music at one Roman institution and maestro di capella at another, Refice wrote many oratorios, "mysteries" and "biblical scenes" in the tradition of Perosi but only two operas, both with hagiographical subjects. Cecilia (1923 but not performed until 1934) tells the story of the early Christian martyress and later patron saint of music in a not often found combination of post-Wagnerian and Debussian orchestral sound, use of Gregorian melodies at the most important sacred parts of the libretto and plenty of references to versimo (as in the passionate encounter between the newly married Cecilia and her pagan Roman husband Valeriano). The work was performed more than a hundred times with Claudia Muzio the first Cecilia and Renata Tebaldi the last of Felice's lifetime - he died in Rio de Janeiro while rehearsing a performance. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni (soprano), Giuseppe Veneziano (tenor), Corrado Cappitta (baritone), Riccardo Ristori (bass), Coro La Camerata di Cremona, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana; Marco Fracassi.