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La Boheme Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 5, 1992
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Act One: No, Signor Mio' - Friedrich Lenz/Alan Titus/Bernd Weikl/Franco Bonisolli/Raimund Grumbach/Sofia Lis/Lucia Popp
  2. Act One: Signori, Poi Che Abbiam Fatto' - Alan Titus/Franco Bonisolli/Lucia Popp
  3. Act One: 'Ed Ora, Conscetela' - Lucia Popp/Franco Bonisolli/Gordon Kember/Franco Bonisolli/Alan Titus...
  4. Act One: 'Mimi Pinson, La Biondinetta' - Alexandrina Milcheva/Gordon Kember/Alan Titus/Bernd Weikl/Raimund...
  5. Act One: 'Sentite: Se Ne Andassimo Al Ballo' - Alexandrina Milcheva/Alan Titus/Raimund Grumbach/Sofia Lis/Bernd Weikl/Alexander Malta
  6. Act One: 'Signorina Musette' - Franco Bonisolli/Alexandrina Milcheva/Alan Titus/Freidrich Lenz/Alexander Malta
  7. Act Two Part 1: 'Auf! Ce N'e Ancor?' - Norbert Orth/Alexandrina Milcheva/Franco Bonisolli
  8. Act Two Part 1: 'Io Non Ho Che Una Povera Stanzetta' - Franco Bonisolli/Alexandrina Milcheva/Alan Titus/Bernd Weikl
  9. Act Two Part 1: 'L'immenso Tesoro' - Bernd Weikl/Alexandrina Milcheva/Franco Bonisolli/Norbert Orth
  10. Act Two Part 1: 'Qualcun!' - Alexandrina Milcheva/Norbert Orth/Lucia Popp/Sofia Lis/Alexander Malta/Jorn W. Wilsing/Bernd Weikl
  11. Act Two Part 1: 'Da Quel Suon Soavemente' - Alexandrina Milcheva

Disc: 2

  1. Act Two Part 2: 'Brava! Bravissima!' - Bernd Weikl/Alan Titus/Alexander Malta/Sofia Lis/Lucia Popp/Jorn W. Wilsing
  2. Act Three: 'E Che! Tu Pur Sei Vedovo?' - Franco Bonisolli/Alan Titus/Alexandrina Milcheva
  3. Act Three: 'Addio!-E Destin!' - Alexandrina Milcheva/Lucia Popp
  4. Act Three: 'Sei Proprio Tu Che Hai Scritto Cio?' - Franco Bonisolli/Alexandrina/Bernd Weikl/Lucia Popp
  5. Act Three: Ecco, Ho Finito!' - Alexandrina Milcheva/Franco Bonisolli
  6. Act Four: 'Scuoti, O Vento' - Bernd Weikl/Franco Bonisolli
  7. Act Four: 'Brr! Che Freddo!' - Alan Titus/Bernd Weikl/Franco Bonisolli
  8. Act Four: 'Buona Sera! V'incomodo?' - Lucia Popp/Franco Bonisolli/Alan Titus
  9. Act Four: 'Mimi Pinson La Biondinetta' - Franco Bonisolli/Alexandrina Milcheva/Lucia Popp/Bernd Weikl


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 5, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Orfeo
  • ASIN: B00000596T
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,336 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By L. E. Cantrell on August 31, 2005
Puccini's "La Boheme" was produced in Turin on February 1, 1896. Although Leoncavallo seems to have begun writing first, his opera followed in Venice on May 6, 1897. "Since that time," wrote Silvia Camerini in an essay that accompanied another recorded version of this opera, "a simplistic and senseless mistake has always been made: that of comparing the two Bohemes. Indeed, apart from the common source of their inspiration, the artistic personalities of the two composers and the consequent interpretations are so different and distinct one from the other as to render any serious comparison impossible." That statement surely earns both the fur-lined teacup and the leather medal for being one of the most fatuous statements in the famously fatuous literature of opera. How can anyone NOT compare the two Bohemes?

Here is Leoncavallo's plot:

-- Act 1. Rodolfo (baritone), Mimi, Marcello (tenor), Musette and friends are having a Christmas Eve party at the Cafe Momus. They have trouble paying the bill.

-- Act 2. Musette is behind on her rent and is being evicted from her apartment. Her furniture has been placed in the street. Marcello sympathizes and invites her to move in with him. They decide to have a party right there in the street. During the party, Mimi is approached by Visconte Paolo who offers her love and a life of luxury. Tired of living in poverty with Rodolfo in his garret, Mimi joins him (reluctantly).

-- Act 3. Musette loves Marcello but she is fed up with being poor. She is about to leave when Mimi appears. Mimi has come to beg Rodolfo to take her back. While the two women talk, Marcello comes in. Musette tells him she is leaving. An argument ensues. Marcello becomes convinced that her betrayal has been caused by Mimi.
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Having dithered and dallied for quite awhile,I eventually took the plunge and bought this recording.I was pleasantly surprised, in fact I am delighted with it.
First of all full marks to The Orfeo people for providing a full summary and libretto in Italian,French,German and English.This is essential for anyone not familiar with this work or indeed any other.
For years now I have Mario Lanza's recording of Testa Adorata from his Coca Cola Radio Show of the early 1950s.Recently I heard Jose Cura's version of same but nothing else.
Since acquiring this set I now realise that this is not a " One Swallow Summer". It is dotted with good tunes. Especially beautiful is the close of Act 1.This is the scene where Barbemuche a man of means wants to pay the Bill incurred by the Bohemians, to Gaudenzo the Proprietor of The Cafe Momus. They decide that the most dignified way is for Schaunard to play Barbemuche in a game of billiards for the money. All repair to the Billiard room except Marcello and Musetta.During the game Marcello woos Musetta.Leoncavallo cleverly intertwines the wooing and the Billiards. When Musetta in jest says to Marcello "But you are not Pluto" Schaunard shouts "Miscue" and when Musetta relents a shout of "Canon and game" comes from the Billiard Room.The Christmas Eve bells ring out and all rejoice singing "Natale".
Act 2 similiarly has it's highlights e.g. "Io non ho che una povera stanzetta"sung by Marcello to Musetta when she is evicted--I have only a poor little room between the chimneys and the sky".This is followed by the Party in the courtyard and the highlight here is the Anthem of the Bohemians a chorus which can stand beside any of the great choruses.
In Act 3 when the mood darkens we have Musetta's farewell and Marcello's lament "Testa Adorata".
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First, my thanks to Messrs McCabe and Cantrell for their excellent, balanced and informative reviews. I won't belabour points already made by them but would add a few observations of my own. It is of course inevitable that this opera should remain in the shade of Puccini's greater work but this is a work which can stand on its own feet. It takes some getting used to that the main characters are in fact Marcello and Musette, especially as they are a tenor and mezzo respectively. Bernd Weikl sings as characterfully as ever as Rodolfo but that bleat in the top notes can be distracting and I would have preferred to have heard even more of Bonisolli, who is in top form here; his Act 3 rant is terrific. (In fact, I have never heard anything by Bonisolli that I haven't liked; he had a tremendous range, from Gluck to Rossini to Bizet to Verdi to verismo roles such as this one - and contrary to received wisdom he is perfectly willing to sing delicately as well as revel in the top notes.) Alexandrina Milcheva, too, deploys a beautiful, faultless, rich mezzo and one wonders why we never heard more of her. Perhaps the best known name, Lucia Popp, has a relatively small part until her death scene and sounds just a little small and shrill in such company, but she is vibrant and impassioned in the Act 3 argument. I also particularly enjoyed both the smooth, rotund bass of Alexander Malta, a stalwart of the Munich scene in the 80's, as the would-be Bohemian Barbemuche, and the lovely baritone of Alan Titus as Schaunard - try his aria on track 2, disc 1 or his piano-accompanied party piece (complete with the "re falso") in Act 2 if you want to hear really elegant baritone singing. The chorus and orchestra are lusty and the joyous climax to Act 2 really goes with a swing.Read more ›
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