Marek Janowski began 2020 with a revelatory performance of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and ends the year with another remarkable re-minting of a one-act opera, Puccini’s Il Tabarro . A dark and brutal tale underpinned by Puccini’s most sophisticated score, one shot through with borrowings from his own operas and infused by impressionist-leaning harmonies and references to Stravinsky, Il Tabarro stands in stark, verismo contrast to its Il Trittico siblings – the delightfully farcical Gianni Schicchi and reverential tale of religious redemption, Suor Angelica .

Il Tabarro

Shrewdly assembling the same forces – the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, alertly involved soloists and firing on all cylinders Dresden Philharmonic (where Janowski’s tenure as chief conductor has just been extended) – the result is as vivid and visceral...