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Puccini: La Bohème [Box set]

Mirella Freni , Luciano Pavarotti , Elizabeth Harwood , Rolando Panerai , Nicolai Ghiaurov , et al. Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.85 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Puccini: La Bohème + Carmen + Il Barbiere Di Siviglia Comp
Price For All Three: CDN$ 74.85

  • Carmen CDN$ 20.53
  • Il Barbiere Di Siviglia Comp CDN$ 21.47

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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. La Boheme: Act One - Questo mar rosso
2. La Boheme: Act One - Pensier profundo!
3. La Boheme: Act One - Legna!
4. La Boheme: Act One - Si può?
5. La Boheme: Act One - Lo resto
6. La Boheme: Act One - Chi è la?
7. La Boheme: Act One - Si sente meglio?
8. La Boheme: Act One - Che gelida manina
9. La Boheme: Act One - Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì
10. La Boheme: Act One - O soave fanciulla
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La Boheme: Act Three - Ohè là, le guardie! Aprite!
2. La Boheme: Act Three - Sa dirmi, scusi, qual'è l'osteria
3. La Boheme: Act Three - Mimì !
4. La Boheme: Act Three - Marcello. Finalmente!
5. La Boheme: Act Three - Mimì è una civetta
6. La Boheme: Act Three - Mimì è tanto malata!
7. La Boheme: Act Three - Donde lieta uscì al tuo grido
8. La Boheme: Act Three - Dunque è proprio finita!
9. La Boheme: Act Four - In un coupé?
10. La Boheme: Act Four - O Mimì , tu più non torni
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

From the exquisite phrasing of the opening orchestra, this recording establishes itself as the standard by which all others should be measured. Herbert von Karajan's orchestra is no less than perfect, as much a virtuostic performer as the singers, evoking each moment's unique mood. Can there be any doubt that Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni were born to sing Puccini? Their sweet, creamy voices splendidly blend, creating a complete aural portrait of the bohemians' souls. Elizabeth Harwood is a wonderfully high-strung Musetta, with the vocal talent to support her many moods. The greatest recording ever of the world's most beloved opera. --Barbara Eisner Bayer

Product Description


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I love Pavarotti's voice and for me Freni is a lovely Mimi, but I think the Serafin recording with Tebaldi and Bergonzi is better. Personally I find Karajan completely overblown whenever he conducts Italian opera, listen for example to the Butterfly with Pav and Freni which is totally over the top. Serafin conducts a much more "Italianate" opera (with a clear beat!) without pushing things to exageerration, which is all too easy with Puccini-kitch. His tempi are too broad and deliberate. Listen for example to Che gelida manina in Act 1- where Pav is completely out of time before going up for his high C (other people have written about this aria without noticing that Pav is out of time throughout this passage). But who can blame him when Karajan is slowing and speeding things up? Mind you the "money shot" - i.e. the top C- is magical and unique in sound. Tebaldi on the other recording is not as sweet as Freni but more gutsy. Bergonzi has none of the Pav tone but is much more musical in his singing. The Berlin Phil are, as usual, awesome. So, my verdict is 4 stars: great sound, lovely voices, but all a bit stagey and contrived: I guess it is a stylistic point about the Italian school of conducting and playing versus the German approach, but what happened to the Karajan of the 50s with that fantastic Lucia??.
(PS If you want to hear real characterisation of Mimi try the Callas. The voice is ugly comparared to Tebaldi or Freni but the singing is much superior.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's EVEN BETTER Jan. 10 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is a classic Boheme. But let me tell you an "open" secret. There are even better Boheme's out there.
Yes, Pavarotti can hit all those high notes. But somehow, he can't match Domingo's intelligence of portrayal. And Freni simply cannot match Caballe's exquisite piannisimi. Caballe is, well, Caballe. You can't replace Caballe with Freni. It just doesn't work. Freni works 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".
I guess this forum must be flooded with Pavarotti fans. Fact is I owned this set for a long time slightly dissatisfied. I was told that this is the best. But it goes to show how influential critics can be. Whatever they say, the public just swallow - lock, stock and barrel.
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tremendous Recording Sept. 28 2003
Format:Audio CD
A few years ago, opera aficionados on a panel during a Metropolitan Opera broadcast were asked which opera was their first love. Each panelist said La Boheme, and each could remember a particular cast that made the opera magical. One panelist said "I think we all remember our first Boheme." I do not recall the cast, but I do remember the first time I heard this opera. I was a senior in high school and I purchased a budget recording of the work. The fact that the quality was sub par did not matter, because I did not know the difference anyway. I had to listen with headphones since my siblings did not appreciate opera the way I did. At the beginning when Marcello sings about his masterpiece to be, a painting of the Red Sea and Rodolfo spoke about his writing, I knew they were both geniuses in the making. Even though I had yet to fall in love, I knew that Rodolfo meant every word he sang when he "O Soave Fanciulla" to Mimi, he meant every word. I understood the struggles between both parts of lovers in Act III even though I had never struggled to keep a rocky relationship alive. When Musetta prayed before Mimi's death, I believed the sincerity of her intentions. And I shared Rodolfo's grief when Mimi breathed her last. After the recording was finished, I recall feeling so moved I could not speak. I can still recall these feelings when I hear the opera performed, or listen to a recording, and Karajan's version of this magnificent work can do it to me all the time.
What can anyone say about this recording that has not already been said? Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, and Nicolai Ghiaurov were all in their prime at the time this recording was made, and it captures the magic that each vocalist offers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Boheme is legendary... Sept. 3 2002
Format:Audio CD
And it's legendary for good reason. Pavarotti's sweet, ringing lyric-spinto tenor voice wraps itself around the role of Rodolfo like the lover he is. This voice soars to the skies with Rodolfo's love for Mimi, sung here by the lovely and affecting Mirella Freni. Here is a Mimi who can melt hearts of solid ice and her performance with Pavarotti is irresistible.
We come to the voice of Nicolai Ghiaurov, a man with an instrument worthy of a god. What does he do with the very human role of Colline? He sings it magnificently, bringing to life dimensions I have never heard out of any other bass, with the possible exception of Giorgio Tozzi. Colline's farewell to his jacket, in his pitiful and touching attempt to save Mimi, brings tears to my eyes when Ghiaurov sings it. How such a gigantic voice can sound so sincere and sentimental is a mystery to me, but Ghiaurov pulls it off superbly. This is no fluke. Listen to Ghiaurov as the tortured Boris Godunov says farewell to his son as he is dying, and you will come to appreciate what a master singer Ghiaurov was.

Everyone here pulls together to give us a spritely yet tragic Boheme worthy of the ages. This is a worthy companion for the classic versions with Gigli, Callas and di Stefano, and Beecham conducting Bjoerling, Victoria de los Angeles, and Robert Merrill. If you love Puccini and this opera, you owe it to yourself to get this performance. Do yourself a big favor and buy this!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Poetry
I love this recording so much, of course Karajan is one iof the best conductors of all times, PAvarotti sings with probably the most beautiful and sweet voice; Mirella freni is a... Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by Ludmilla tellez
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
This is my favorite recording of my favorite opera.
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by James D. Winkler
5.0 out of 5 stars If you think this is great...
This is the greatest recording of Boheme, bar none. Pav is simply the King of tenors. And Freni is nearly his match. But if you think Pav sings well here. Read more
Published on July 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally
YES.
Finally a great performance with great sound quality. This DECCA recording has it all. Perfect sound and amazing cast.
And what a cast!! Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2002 by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars It can't get much better than this.
I confess this was the first time I'd heard this recording of THE opera, "La Boheme," and now I don't think I'll ever be able to tolerate another. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2002 by OneEyedCat
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive recording all should have.
This is the perfect recording of La Boheme because it captured the best singers in their prime. What is a better combination than Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti? Read more
Published on May 12 2001 by Carmela Altieri
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best.
Von Karajan's recording of Puccini's La Boheme is probably the best all-around; sound, orchestra detail, structure, and magnificent singing, especially from Pavarotti and Freni. Read more
Published on April 17 2001 by Michael Newberry
5.0 out of 5 stars "Che manina gelida"!! That's so beautiful, isn't it??!!
I understand that this opera may be considered to be something of an 'old chestnut' by some, but I am a newcomer, pretty much, to classical music and I like such things anyway, old... Read more
Published on March 25 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Library choice for La Bohéme
Of course it is, this is one of the finest opera recordings of all time. Pavarotti, Freni and Panerai were born to sing these roles and they can stand comparison with any other... Read more
Published on March 16 2001 by Gerardo Cabrera Munoz
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