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LA BOHEME (Puccini) Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 194.06
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 23 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00000B9KP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
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Disc: 1
1. La Boheme: Act 1 - Questo Mar Rosso
2. La Boheme: Act 1 - Nei cieli bigi
3. La Boheme: Act 1 - Gia dell'Apocalisse appariscono I segni
4. La Boheme: Act 1 - Pensier profondo!
5. La Boheme: Act 1 - Legna ! Sigari ! Bordo !
6. La Boheme: Act 1 - Si pub? Chi e la? Benoit !
7. La Boheme: Act 1 - Timido in gioventu
8. La Boheme: Act 1 - Chi e la? - Scusi.- Una donna!
9. La Boheme: Act 1 - Oh! sventata!
10. La Boheme: Act 1 - Che gelida manina
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La Boheme: Act 3 - Ohe, la, le guardi! Aprite!
2. La Boheme: Act 3 - Chi nel ber trovo il piacier
3. La Boheme: Act 3 - Sa dirmi, scusi, qual'e l'osteria
4. La Boheme: Act 3 - O buon Marcello, aiuto!
5. La Boheme: Act 3 - Marcello, finalmente!
6. La Boheme: Act 3 - Mimi e una civetta
7. La Boheme: Act 3 - Donde lieta; Addio, senza rancor! (Mimi's Farewell)
8. La Boheme: Act 3 - Che facevi, che dicevi
9. La Boheme: Act 4 - In un coupe?
10. La Boheme: Act 4 - O Mimi, tu piu non torni
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A little context may be helpful to appreciate this "La Boheme". Anna Moffo was the All American Diva when this went to vinyl in 1961. Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in "La Traviata", and her RCA recording of the same role placed Moffo at the top. And, she became known to American households from her numerous television appearances. Her costars were also top American singers. Richard Tucker and Robert Merrill were established artist with already rich discographies; Mary Costa, opera's Hollywood-styled Blonde Bombshell, had sung her way into American pop-culture as the voice of Princess Aurora in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty". Despite being recorded in Rome, this was an American "La Boheme" for the American public, in a record market dominated primarily by European singers.
From her entrance, Moffo commands our attention like a true star. In the first act, she seems a little concentrated on the beauty of her own voice, but this self consciousness disappears in Act 2, and by Act 3 she sounds fully the consumptive and desperate heroine. With the help of Merrill, the Mimi / Marcello scene in Act 3 is perhaps the best on record. The line "ti prende un altro amantre, non fai per me" is infused with a shocking degree of panic and bitterness, unlike any other recording. This is followed by an extraordinary "Donde lietta". For the rest of the opera the listener cannot help but be captivated and moved. Richard Tucker is a bit too big of a voice for the role, and a little lacking in the requisite legato, especially for those of us familiar with more recent, lighter voiced Rodolfos (including Carreras, Pavarotti, and Alagna), but he still has much success with the role. The under-recorded Mary Costa sings Musetta with the aplomb of a seasoned musical theater performer.
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Format: Audio CD
I had high hopes for this La Boheme after so many great reviews, but it did disappoint me somewhat in 2 areas. Richard Tucker sounded a little too cotton mouthed some of the time the singers in the final act distorted during load passages. At the end of the Act 1 Tucker opps for the lower note (perhaps a low C instead of a high C) when he and Moffo walk off together, however, they do blend very well together. In Tucker's favor is the passion he gives to the role making him emotionally convincing with a heart wrenching final scene. Anna Moffo gives a superb performance of Mimi and Robert Merrill an invigorating Marcello. Overall, this is a very good performance. Yes, it did make me cry. The recording is very good as well (except for the last act as noted above).
If you want to hear this opera in other really great performances get Pavarotti and Schippers (Opera D'Oro # 1143 ASIN: B000000UOE); Bjorling and Beechem (EMI #67753 ASIN: B000063UM0 ); and Domingo and Solti recording (RCA #39496 ASIN: B000009NIW ).
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best performances of "La Boheme" on records, and an essential one for fans of soprano Anna Moffo.
In 1961, when this recording was made, Anna Moffo was a young, beautiful woman (she was still in her 20's) who had a gorgeous, and flawless, lyric-coloratura soprano voice that extended spectacularly to high E flat. Moreover, she was gifted with a delicate dramatic art that infused her characterizations with heartbreaking joy and pathos without ever going over the top. Unlike any of her rivals at the time, most of whom I admire, Moffo looked and sounded exactly like the operatic heroines she portrayed on stage. Her luminous qualities come through on audio recordings as well, such as this exceptional "Boheme". Her act three performance is unmatched even by the likes of Maria Callas, Victoria de los Angeles or Renata Tebaldi, the other great Mimi's of the era.
It is somewhat unfortunate that Moffo was often paired with Richard Tucker. The latter was a celebrated dramatic tenor who was much older than Moffo and whose voice was not right for the role of Mimi's lover Rodolfo. I can only fathom what the glorious results might have been had Moffo been paired with the equally ravishing voice of Jussi Bjorling or Carlo Bergonzi. Nevertheless, Tucker does effectively modulate his enormous voice to sing as lyrically and with as much youthful ardour as can be expected from him. In the act one exit of the two lovers, the voices of the principals blend with perfect harmony and volume to extraordinary effect.
The rest of the cast is the most outstanding that has ever been assembled for a recording of this opera.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first recording of "La Boheme" I ever listened to, over thirty years ago. Since then, I've heard nearly every available commercial recording, and more than a few pirated versions, and this is still the one I keep returning to. Each of the individual performances (conductor and orchestra included) is dramatically specific and nuanced. It matters not in the least that Tucker sounds a tad mature in the role at this point in his career -- it's still glorious singing, and the sense of vulnerability he conveys is heartbreaking. I agree with the other reviewer that Moffo's early scenes seem more focused on vocal allure than characterization, but it's nevertheless true that 1) the vocal glamour is *astonishing* and unsurpassed, and 2) Moffo's characterization grows exponentially from Act 1 to the catastrophic encounter with Marcello in Act 3 (she is unmatched here). Costa is perfect as Musetta in every way. Leinsdorf's conducting is as responsive as one could wish (vs. Karajan's lugubrious reading, which sabotages Pavarotti and Freni).
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