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Puccini: La Boheme Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Puccini: La Bohème (2 CDs)
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Audio CD, Box set, August 10, 1987
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 1-JAN-2002

Amazon.com

The score for La Bohème comes to glowing life under Herbert von Karajan's baton, and Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti make beautiful music together as the ill-fated lovers. The smaller parts are wonderfully sung, the comedy sharply profiled, and the pathos contained in such a way that the opera's ending proves remarkably gripping. London's sound is excellent. --Ted Libbey
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Performer: Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Elizabeth Harwood, Rolando Panerai, Nicolai Ghiaurov
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Giacomo Puccini
  • Audio CD (August 10, 1987)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: London / Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041TD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,049 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric Krupin on November 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
A long time ago, my father was driving my teenaged self somewhere as he listened to a cassette of "Pavarotti's Greatest Hits" on the car stereo. During "Che gelida manina", he tried to enlighten my ignorance as to what was special about it. "This is one of the great moments in opera," he explained. "The man sings this beautiful aria. Then the woman sings something even more beautiful. Then the two of them sing together and it's even more beautiful than that." I grunted in assent that it must be a whole lot of beautifulness and then returned my attention to whatever science fiction novel I was reading at the time.

Many years have passed since then. My father is dead, and I probably know more about opera now than he did. But, perhaps because of that conversation, the end of Act I still defines "La Boheme" for me. [Moral of the story for parents of teens: Keep sharing yourself with your kids, no matter how much they grunt at you. There's no telling what will stick.] If a performance doesn't convey Dad's Guinness-Book sense that opera really doesn't get any more powerful or moving than this, I have to consign it to the "Not Quite" file. Sorry Tebaldi/Bergonzi and Callas/di Stefano.

All of which is to set up my claim that Freni/Pavarotti are the ones who truly deliver the goods in this virtually impossible-to-sing scene. While di Stefano's voice has a marvelous bronze gleam and crisp pronunciation, he simply doesn't have the sheer tone power to compete with the strength of Puccini's melodies. When Rodolfo sings "In te ravviso / Il sogno ch'io vorrei sempre sognar!", the heroic notes demand that the tenor produce a sound that you would follow into battle. Here Pav unforgettably brings da noise - and "Yes, Giorgio" is forgiven all over again.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best opera recordings ever produced. For more than a decade, Freni-Pavarotti ruled the interpretation of Mimì and Rodolfo of this opera. This is absolutely the best La Bohème recording available, although some may argue that sometimes Karajan's tempi may be a little bit slow. But Karajan shows his meticulosity in this recording by showing all the poetry and dramatical concept of this opera. The orchestra just sounds perfect, and the singers Freni, Pavarotti and Panerai are exactly Mimì, Rodolfo and Marcello. The combination between Freni and Pavarotti, the way they merge they voices together, is absolutely magic and essential for the results of this recording, because they have the adequate voices for both roles. Panerai sings the nicer Marcello of all, and Ghiaurov nails his Colline role, while Harwood delivers another great role as Musetta, despite her lack of perfect Italian, but with a lot of expressiveness.
Bottomline: this is the best La Bohème available, and it is a must in any opera discography. Thanks for reading!
P.S. If you find my review helpful, vote YES (It does not mean you agree. It just means you found it helpful). You can read all my other reviews if you wish to. I modestly write them to help people form an opinion about movies, music and books, but if nobody reads them (if you don't vote I do not know if you did) there is no point in writing them.
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By Mark on February 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
YES.
Finally a great performance with great sound quality. This DECCA recording has it all. Perfect sound and amazing cast.
And what a cast!!
Pavarotti makes here (with some other Donizetti operas on record) one of his BEST performances ever. The voice shines! It is clear with beautiful ringing and healthy high notes.
I loved Freni. She delivers here a very wonderful sick and vulnerable mimi. Along with De Los Angeles, she made history of her performance here as mimi.
I cannot forget the very precious performance of Ghiaurov! Bravo.
And Karajan's recording...amazing (But I think comes second place after Beecham).
Well...nothing goes bad in this performance...on the contrary...it is just Perfect!
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Format: Audio CD
I have returned to this recording, both on wax and on compact disc, for many years. Karajan displays an astonishing feel for the music of Puccini, and the ensemble of singers provides a delightful blend of voices which never fails to touch the heart of the listener. Elizabeth Harwood is a joy to hear as Museta. Freni is in this recording a Mimi beyond compare. This recording is an especially good display of the magnificent vocal gifts of Luciano Pavarotti. His voice is ripe, full, yet easy in this recording. There is, perhaps, no other recording of a complete opera which displays so clearly the fact that Pavarotti's voice is unusually large for a lyric tenor. Even so, his wonderful diction and phrasing make his Rodolfo truly delightful. This is Pavarotti singing serious music with joy! His voice, from the entrance in Act One is liquid sunshine. This recording is a must for every lover of Puccini!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am writing this review a few days after the death of Luciano Pavarotti. Even if I do not know music, I like opera, and I love Puccini. This recording is one of the most beautiful I ever heard, and will make it clear, if ever there was any doubt, that we just lost one of the most outstanding artists of the 20th century. Forget about his incursions in pop music, forget about his late years marriage with a younger woman and forget about his frequent cancellations and all that. Just listen to "Che gelida manina" in this recording and weep... Mirella Freni is an amazing co-star, and her Mimi' is as superb as Pavarotti's Rodolfo. Everyone in this recording is superb. Here you will truly hear Pavarotti at his peak. Nothing less than magical. For another outstanding recording of the best Pavarotti, try the Turandot from the same label, directed by Mehta, and with an amazing Caballe' in the role of Liu'. Then, you will hear the most memorable "Nessun dorma" you will ever hear.
Thanks Mr Pavarotti for having made this world a better place.
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