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La Boheme

Giacomo Puccini Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 36.17 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: Questo Mar Rosso Mi Ammollisce E Assidera
2. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: Pensier Profondo!
3. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: Legna! - Sigari! - Bordò
4. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: Si Può?
5. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: Lo Resto Per Terminar L'articolo Di Fondo
6. La bohÃ..me, opera: Quadro Primo: Chi È Là?1 - Scusi
7. La bohÃ..me, opera: Quadro Primo: Si Sente Meglio?
8. La bohÃ..me, opera: Quadro Primo: Che Gelida Manina
9. La bohÃ..me, opera: Quadro Primo: Si. Mi Chiamano Mimi
10. La bohème, opera: Quadro Primo: O Soave Fanciulla
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Ohè, Là, Le Guardie! Aprite!
2. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Sa Dirmi, Scusi, Qual' È L'osteria
3. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Mimi! - Speravo Di Trovarvi Qui
4. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Marcello. Finalmente!
5. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Mimi È Una civetta
6. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Mimì È Tanto Malata
7. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Donde Lieta Uscì Al Tuo Grido D'amore
8. La bohème, opera: Quadro Terzo: Dunque È Proprio Finita!
9. La bohème, opera: Quadro Quarto: In Un Coupé?
10. La bohème, opera: Quadro Quarto: O Mimì, Tu Più Non Torni
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Get ready to hear Puccini's star-crossed bohemians as you've never heard them before. To be sure, not only is La Bohème probably the most widely performed opera, but it's one of the most frequently recorded, from the superb account under Thomas Beecham to Karajan's famous Decca version (still a best seller after nearly 30 years). And it's precisely because of the opera's popularity that clichés and overromanticized distortions have settled around performance practice. Riccardo Chailly's goal in making yet another Bohème was to clear these away, using a new critical edition of the score and respecting Puccini's own stated views on how the music should sound, how the drama should unfold. The result is a profoundly moving work of restoration that deserves to join the ranks of its formidable predecessors.

To begin with, this Bohème features a young cast--all in their 30s--of some of today's most characterful singers who together convey the necessary vital sense of ensemble. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna (the couple first met performing the opera at Covent Garden) bring overwhelming chemistry to Mimì and Rodolfo. For once, we hear the arias of their famous encounter in Act I not as set pieces but as part of a larger momentum in which both are swept up. Alagna, with a thrillingly full sound to his top range, portrays a many-faceted Rodolfo, from dreamy poet and ardent lover to the man broken by loss, while Gheorghiu's radiantly sympathetic Mimì is a study in the use of subtle vocal coloring to dramatic effect. Elisabetta Scano sings an unusually light-voiced Musetta, as transparent as a boy soprano--a fascinating contrast to Simon Keenlyside's robust and charismatic Marcello.

Chailly's urgent, unsentimental approach to the score is, quite simply, a revelation, and the story moves forward briskly. His insight into tempo relation between the "big" numbers and transitional sections highlights Puccini's effect of comic high spirits mingling with intense pathos. Whether it's the aching solo cello in "Mi chiamano Mimì" or the impeccable diminuendo of the final tragic bars, Chailly's well-known mastery of detail foregrounds a lucid variety of colors and dynamics from La Scala's orchestra--its first recording of the opera in more than 30 years--that are often neglected in the music. The result is categorically a Bohème for our time. --Thomas May

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bets La Boheme. Period. April 25 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is the best La Boheme ever! Period. Better than Karajan's, better than Beecham's. The Beecham is an outstanding performance but it is marred by poor sonics. The Karajan is sooo slooow. As great as that performance is, the tempi drags and the sonics (although in good Decca analogue) cannot compare with THIS!! THIS has the best sound ever - my goodness the sound itself ravishes your ears and carries you forward. Not to mention that Chailly takes appropriate tempi that DO NOT DRAG. But the glory of this set is the incredible tenor of Alagna and the incredible soprano of Gheorghiu. Alagna's voice is gloriously lyrical and beautiful. So beguiling to listen to and he is dramatically alive. Gheorghiu's voice too is exceptionaly beautiful and she is even better than Alagna!! She is simply magic!!
So what are you waiting for, get the best La Boheme ever!! Now!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed... This is the future of Boheme!!! March 26 2004
Format:Audio CD
If you've not yet heard this new critical edition of perhaps the world's most beloved opera, purchase it now! This is the "new critical edition" of one of Puccini's finest moments!
Firstly, the sonics of the recording, the orchestra, and the casting (with the exception of Scano, whom is a terrible choice for the fussy, fickle Musetta) is outstanding. Together with the new score, expert conducting, and upbeat tempi (FINALLY!!!), I listened enthralled for the entire length of the opera. Each character is so incredibly believeable, and by the end of Act 4, you'll feel the desolation of their loss. I took a new interest to the often neglected Act 3 since this cast put their hearts into it. I don't care what anyone says, Pavarotti cannot act or put emotion into his Boheme to save his life!!!
The orchestra is perfect in Act 2, which is unusual to hear even in studio recordings because of the difficulty of this act's orchestration and perpetual motion.
My only qualm is with the casting of Elisabetta Scano. I cringe when I hear Musetta's "Quando me'n vo'" as she is used to singing Mozart, not dramatic, flashy, brash Puccini roles. Other than that, this CD is perfect!
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's even better Jan. 10 2004
Format:Audio CD
Karajan's was a classic Boheme. This is a great set. But let me tell you an "open" secret. There are even better Boheme's out there.
Yes, Pavarotti can hit all those high notes. Yes, Alagna is sweet of tone. But somehow, he can't match Domingo's intelligence of portrayal. And Freni simply cannot match Caballe's exquisite piannisimi. Neither can Gheorghiu. Caballe is, well, Caballe. You can't replace Caballe with Freni or Gheorghiu. It just doesn't work. Freni & Gheorghiu work well in theatre because she is beautiful. But when it comes to the voice, CABALLE is the ultimate Mimi.
And Karajan's conducting is simply too "beautiful". Where is the drama??? This is typical smooth and lots of legato Karajan without much else in it. Yes, it is beautiful but devoid of "verismo". Chailly is too inexperienced.
I guess this forum must be flooded with Pavarotti fans & Alagna. Fact is I owned the Karajan set for a long time slightly dissatisfied. I was told that that is the best. But it goes to show how influential critics can be. Whatever they say, the public just swallow - lock, stock and barrel. Then I bought the Chailly. But it still didn't work.
If you want to hear a REAL Boheme, get the Solti. After waiting a long time, I decided to explore the Solti set, and now I finally understand what Boheme is all about.
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Format:Audio CD
This is a good attempt at Boheme. But nobody, absolutely nobody beats the Domingo-Caballe-Milnes collaboration under Solti. That collaboration is legendary, and wins over all sets hands down!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars passionate boheme Dec 5 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
this is the most passionate boheme. alagna and gheorghiu simply sizzle, especially in act 1. alagna is a fine rodolfo but it's gheorghiu who really shines. her duet with marcello in act 3 is the best that i've heard. her voice is beautiful, especially in the higher registers where many sopranos become a little unsteady and shrill. in the lower registers, though, her voice is a little too 'thick' for mimi, who's supposed to be a frail, slight girl. it works against her in the first act. freni still sings the best 'mi chiaomano mimi' imho.
this set is supposed to be based on a critical edition of boheme, but unless you compare it with another i don't think you'll notice. the tempo is a little faster. the casting of scano is my only big criticism of this boheme. her voice is too light to sing musetta. listen to ruth ann swenson on the paponna set to see how the role should be sung.
a good boheme. i still think beecham's is the best boheme, but chailly's is worth a listen, if only to hear gheorghiu sing act 3.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only Gheorghiu Shines! Oct. 31 2003
Format:Audio CD
actually, the only star here is Gheorghiu. She is really great! If are her fan, you'll probably enjoy this recording very much.
Alagna is a great tenor, although he always sounds like he is in a hurry... He should take his time and enjoy his own singing a little bit more. Not to mention that he is generally too loud! He should listen more Domingo, and less Pavarotti.
If you want a good "la boheme", try the one starring Domingo, Caballe and Milnes(SOLTI), or the one with Pavarotti and Freni(Karajan). Both are great!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Boheme In Years with some limitations
This is one of the best Boheme Recordings in recent years. Gheorghiu's Mimi is second to none in my opinion. Alagna's Radolfo is captivating and full of charm. Read more
Published on July 7 2003 by Maximilian Pop
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, the best "Boheme"...at least on records!
It's always interesting, to me, to read others' reviews of "La Boheme." As the most popular opera in history, any new or different recording is always guaranteed to get... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2003 by madamemusico
5.0 out of 5 stars Best modern La Boheme
This is a very nice version of one of Puccinis great and Chailly and La Scala orchestra is fantastic. Comparing this to older sets is in my opinion meaningless. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars A Boheme That Indeed has its Fine Points
I have owned this recording for about a year now, after much anticipation to experience Angela Gheorghiu's Mimi in its entirety. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2000 by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, it's very good.
Yes, of course there are better La Bohemes in the catalogue, but this one is good and worth hearing. Read more
Published on Dec 15 1999 by Gerardo Cabrera Munoz
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?
La Boheme is maybe the most recorded opera on CD. Each new recording must be put up against all the other and must be justified. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 1999 by Tommy Nielsen
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent version, challenging Freni, Pavarotti aso!
This version really represent a jewel that you should take as a reference. The interpretation is passionate.
Published on Oct. 22 1999
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