Puccini: La Bohème

Puccini: La Bohème

by Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Herbert von Karajan
     
 
In celebration of Puccini’s 150th birth anniversary, Decca is reissuing the definitive recording of La Bohème in a deluxe package. Featuring the luminous voices of Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti under the expert direction of Herbert von Karajan, who leads the Berlin Philharmonic, this truly is operatic gold.

The original recording has been remastered

Overview

In celebration of Puccini’s 150th birth anniversary, Decca is reissuing the definitive recording of La Bohème in a deluxe package. Featuring the luminous voices of Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti under the expert direction of Herbert von Karajan, who leads the Berlin Philharmonic, this truly is operatic gold.

The original recording has been remastered in 96kHz/24-bit sound for incredible clarity and depth. The deluxe package includes a bonus disc of Mirella Freni discussing Puccini (whose works played a significant role in her career) and working with Herbert von Karajan: a valuable living document of one of opera’s greatest sopranos!

The entire package includes essays, a full libretto and numerous rare photographs from the historic recording session. Rarely has a recording retained such an honored place of distinction in the catalog—and there is not better tribute to Puccini than this deluxe limited edition release. From the Label

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
There is no lack of stellar, gripping versions of "La bohème" on disc, and by most reckonings, this one stands toward the front of the pack. Having a cast of superstars is no guarantee that an opera recording is going to have the chemistry to knock you off your feet, but the performers here live up to the expectations that their fame raises. Luciano Pavarotti is an ardent Rodolfo; his youthful impetuosity is completely convincing, and he sings with the passionate but unforced creaminess that characterized his performances at the height of his career. Mirella Freni is also vocally in top form. Her Mimi is deeply felt and her voice is sweet, pure, and soaringly lyrical. Rolando Panerai was into middle age when he made this recording, but he is persuasively youthful and he sings with warmth and vigor as Marcello. Elizabeth Harwood is more effective in Musetta's serious moments than in her fiery ones, but she has a very lovely floating top. The smaller roles are exceptionally well taken; it's real luxury casting to have an artist of Nicolai Ghiaurov's caliber as Colline, and Michel Sénéchal is marvelously funny as Benoit and Alcindoro. The Chorus of the Deutschen Oper, Berlin, sings with a great sense of character, and the Berlin Philharmonic plays as if this quintessentially Italianate music was in its blood. Herbert von Karajan leads an extraordinarily nuanced and expressive reading of the score. Felicitous details of orchestration that are frequently lost are clearly audible here, often to revelatory effect. Decca's sound is exemplary in its clarity and depth. Its engineers are scrupulous in their stereo separation; the stage movement is so precisely calibrated that it's easy to tell the spatial relationship between characters. This altogether exceptional version has much to recommend it to fans of the opera, and listeners coming to it for the first time could hardly find a more compelling introduction. The reissue includes an intriguing 20-minute interview with Mirella Freni, in which she discusses her career, Puccini, and her collaborations von Karajan.
Gramophone - Alan Blyth
Pavarotti's Rodolfo, in Karajan's reading for Decca, is perhaps the best thing he has ever done.... This recording is a reminder that Pavarotti is an artist of intelligence and delicacy as well as splendour of voice. His Mimi, Freni, sings most beautifully and sensitively.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2008
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947802549
catalogNumber:
001206600

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. La bohème, opera  - Giacomo Puccini  - Giuseppe Giacosa  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Nicolai Ghiaurov  - Mirella Freni  - Walter Hagen-Groll  - Elizabeth Harwood  - Luigi Illica  - Rolando Panerai  - Die Schöneberger Sängerknaben  - Michel Sénéchal  - Hans-Dieter Appelt  - Gianni Maffeo  - Gernot Pietsch  - Hans-Dietrich Pohl  -  Deutschen Opernchor Berlin  - Gerhard Hellwig  - Michael Walters
  2. Mirella Freni in conversation with Catherine Bott (Interview)  - Spoken Word  - Mirella Freni

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