Cavalleria Rusticana is Mascagni's most popular opera. "Intermezzo" is the instrumental interlude that accompanies villagers leaving an Easter service. This operatic gem brings relief to the tensions of a plot that realistically deals with tragic triangles of love. Beginning with a sensitively treated section for woodwinds, it's not long before the brass enters to create a lush sound. Rhythmically simple, this piece allows the conductor to focus on the execution of long, lyrical passages, including dynamics, legato line, and phrasing. A beautiful treatment of an equally beautiful work.