Puccini: La Bohème; Madama Butterfly; Tosca; Turandot

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
This Luciano Pavarotti box set represents the high-density, no-frills approach to opera marketing, shoehorning four of the tenor's complete Puccini operas into a package smaller than a double jewel case. Considering that the recordings themselves are all from the big-budget 1970s when Pavarotti was in his prime, and that the "La bohème" and "Turandot" performances some might include "Madama Butterfly" can be considered "go to" choices for overall musical quality, the value becomes even more impressive. The downside is the complete absence of texts, translations, and the other interesting materials that usually come with operatic recordings. If you need those things, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
This Luciano Pavarotti box set represents the high-density, no-frills approach to opera marketing, shoehorning four of the tenor's complete Puccini operas into a package smaller than a double jewel case. Considering that the recordings themselves are all from the big-budget 1970s when Pavarotti was in his prime, and that the "La bohème" and "Turandot" performances some might include "Madama Butterfly" can be considered "go to" choices for overall musical quality, the value becomes even more impressive. The downside is the complete absence of texts, translations, and the other interesting materials that usually come with operatic recordings. If you need those things, and can't conveniently get them from somewhere else, this album won't be of any use to you. Herbert von Karajan's 1973 "La bohème," with Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Rolando Panerai, and Nicolai Ghiarov, is the standout of this collection -- very nearly the perfect recording of the opera, and certainly one of Pavarotti's finest efforts. The "Turandot," with Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, and Ghiarov and of course Pavarotti, and conducted by Zubin Mehta is more a matter of taste, losing out in many comparisons to Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli's 1965 effort conducted by Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, as well as other choices. But it is still an extremely fine recording. Karajan's "Madama Butterfly" is more problematic, largely for technical reasons. It is mixed in such a way that the singers don't pop out of the texture the way they need to, making Freni in particular the star of the show, no less hard to hear. And Nicola Rescigno's Tosca, again with Pavarotti and Freni, and Sherill Milnes as the Baron Scarpia, is a genuine disappointment. Rescigno's torporific conducting actually manages to make Puccini sound boring. When you think about it, that's really quite an achievement, and a colossal waste of three top-notch singers' efforts. But even leaving "Tosca" aside, this package still offers a lot of opera, and a lot of Pavarotti, for the buck.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947399728
  • Catalog Number: 000334802

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–31 La bohème, opera - Giuseppe Giacosa & Giacomo Puccini (110:02)
Disc 2
Disc 3
  1. 1–41 Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera - Giacomo Puccini & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (145:18)
Disc 4
Disc 5
Disc 6
  1. 1–29 Tosca, opera - Giuseppe Giacosa & Giacomo Puccini (116:05)
Disc 7
Disc 8
  1. 1–28 Turandot, opera - Giacomo Puccini & Joan Sutherland (117:21)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Luciano Pavarotti Primary Artist
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