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Puccini: La Bohème
 
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Puccini: La Bohème

27 Dec 1999 | Format: MP3

£12.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Disc 2
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 27 Jan 1996
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA Classics
  • Copyright: (P) 1974 BMG Music
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:42:42
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001UJB6HG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,172 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. AJW Hegarty on 14 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes people will recommend that you buy a recording for one starring performance. This is definitely one of those occasions. Caballe shines as Mimi, the delicate beauty of her singing and technical perfection are incomparable. You will rarely hear anything more glorious than Caballe and Domingo floating the finale to 'O soave fanciulla', rather than belting an ugly high C (against the composer's wishes - morendo, ie 'dying' is clearly marked in the score). Act 2 flies by, the ensemble singing really is first rate. Sherrill Milnes and Judith Blegen as Marcello and Musetta play wonderfully off each other, Blegen clearly relishing the role. Solti builds superbly to the grand finale, powerful performances moving even the stoniest listener. This should be on the list for any opera collector - a truly superb recording of Puccini's masterpiece.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec 2000
Format: Audio CD
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the definitive recording of Boheme. Caballe is at her most meltingly beautiful, and the (rare) combination of her voice with Domingo's is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The entire cast is strong and the emotional experience is overwhelming. I've owned it for years, but it never fails to bring tears to my eyes at the end.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Sep 2000
Format: Audio CD
Conventional wisdom has it that this is one of the very best Bohèmes ever recorded. I wonder why, as this recording left me completely unmoved, if not downright bored. Solti's conducting is surprisingly limp; the orchestral playing is polished, but utterly lifeless throughout, the strong contrasts Puccini wanted give way to polite monotony, and some parts sound insufficiently rehearsed. Caballé is in very good voice and sings magnificently from a strictly technical viewpoint, but manages not to convey any of the emotions called for by the score, which in itself is quite an achievement. A superb Traviata and Aida, she is utterly out of place in this opera, where none of her true qualities are allowed to come into play. Domingo sings well, but is equally inexpressive and sounds uncomfortable with some of the top notes. The rest of the cast are competent but insipid; Judith Blegen's Musetta has a pretty voice but no personality, Ruggero Raimondi manages to make Colline's fourth-act aria sound dull, and the others are completely undifferentiated, which is a fatal flaw in a work such as this where even bit players should come across as fully rounded characters. The best part is the third-act quartet, where Caballé and Domingo release a flood of gorgeous sound; but Puccini is not Richard Strauss, and vocal hedonism is no substitute for emotion. Better stick to the Toscanini set, which offers superb conducting if merely adequate singers, or to the Callas/Votto recording, which, despite a bad Musetta, is really one of the best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Caballe and Blegen shine in theatrical "La Boheme" 7 Sep 2000
By "daniel0302" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As far as putting "La Boheme" across as a cohesive piece of theater, this recording is superior to Karajan's far more celebrated and commercially successful Pavarotti/Freni pairing for Decca/London. This "Boheme" emerges as an ensemble effort despite the star power of its line up, and is also one of Solti's most successful Italian opera recordings. The long Mimi/Rodolfo scene that closes Act 1, with its two arias and duet, is seamless, beautifully sung, and lovingly interpreted. The affectionately calm yet sexy ending of "O suave fanciulla" is here sung as written with Domingo taking the low E instead of interjecting a high C, and is recorded from an appropriate distance, as the lovers steal off into the cold Christmas night. These are two young people sweetly holding on to each other for warmth, basking in the gentle glow of new love. Contrast this with the Karajan recording, with Freni and Pavarotti bellowing out fabulous, but innapropriate, high Cs in a star turn more about two superstars than about Puccini's young, tender, doomed lovers.
Caballe is simply ravishing, and sounds perfectly cast in a role that she was not known for onstage. She avoids the preciousness and aloof emotion that creep into some of her other recordings, and is consistently fragile and touching. She inhabits the role from start to finish, and is genuinely heartbreaking in Acts 3 and 4. The young Domingo is lyrical, virile, and every bit the impetuous young poet. Pavarotti and Carreras are vocally more suited to the part in both weight and color, but Domingo is still quite good.
Milnes and Blegen have lots of chemistry, and the second couple emerges, as they should, as the stars of Act 2. Milnes sometimes does indulge in the covered, swallowed top notes that mar many of his recordings. Blegen has a lot more to offer than many recorded Musettas, and she is never afraid of not being pretty. Musetta's Waltz is not the "audition piece" it is in the hands of many, but the campy mating call that Puccini wrote. Raimondi contributes a wonderfully introspective Coat Aria in Act 4.
Often criticized for his heavy hand, Solti maintains a light touch with the contrasting extremes of comic, sentimental, and tragic. He finds the individual identity of each of the four acts, and still maintains a cohesive whole.
What this recording sometimes lacks - and the oversung Karajan version has in spades - is the sense of being deliriously overwhelmed by its own outpouring of glorious music making. Still, this is a fine version of the opera, and dramatically more satisfying than most. Given its mid-price reissue, a very good choice, and an absolute must for Caballe fans.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Simply divine!! 28 Dec 2003
By "jonnyethan" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree Karajan's Boheme is wimpy. Who wants a wimpy set? This is the ultimate La Boheme. Domingo is at his youthful peak!! Domingo may not be the high note tenor par excellence, but he is the ultimate tenor par excellence who can produce high notes more powerful than the King of High Cs. Caballe produces ravishing tone and incredible floated pianissimi as Mimi. Milnes is nothing short of amazing. Forget the Karajan set, this is the ultimate La Boheme!! Yes, red-blooded Bohemians flesh and blood. Not a bunch of wimpy guys in Karajan's set (in Karajan's set, you almost feel like they will shriek when they see a rat).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dream Cast!!! 24 Nov 2010
By ShoppingBigGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this recording to become more familiar with this opera before seeing it live at the Met in January 2011. (First time at the opera)
I began my search for this recording based on my spouses love for Placido Domingo and when it arrived and he discovered that Montserrat
Caballe and his favorite baritone Sherrill Milnes were part of the cast.... let's just say he was very pleased. The quality of this recording is
incredible and the singing is suberb in every way.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
La Superba in thrilling form 17 Jan 2004
By "fat_cat_loves_opera" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The glory of this set is the superb achievement of La Superba, Monteserrat Caballe in the role of Mimi. She sings with unrivalled Puccinian mastery that she is above all her competition. Domingo & Milnes at this stage of their career produces glorious ringing tone throughout - truly balm to the ears. Solti's conducting is beautiful and persuasive and the sound quality is the best possible. One of te great La Boheme's on record, standing shoulder to shoulder, head to head with the very best. Strongly recommended set.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
La Boheme 9 Aug 2010
By Gayle Baldner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely opera that I play often during the day and find myself humming along with it. Such beautiful music and such a sad story.
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