This is the most sumptuous of all recorded Bohèmes, with conductor Herbert von Karajan coaxing ravishing playing and singing from the Berlin Philharmonic and his thoroughly-in-their-prime cast. He indulges in tempos that seem oddly slow at first but that soon add to the drama and make us hear Puccini’s orchestration—and drama—more clearly than ever; moreover, his cast can sing the composer’s lyric lines in long, sustained, legato breaths with ease and beauty. He doesn’t stint on the fun of the first and last acts either, with singers and players percolating with excitement. You can practically envision lavish sets. Pavarotti is in full bloom, with golden sound pouring forth and impeccableRead more diction; vocally this Rodolfo hasn’t a worry in the world, and Pavarotti has ardor and feelings to spare. Freni is, if not the best, then surely one of the best Mimis of the last half-century; she is infinitely believable. The others are just as involved and sound just as good. This recording is a warm, loving experience.
-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [4/2011] Read less
Works on This Recording
La Bohèmeby Giacomo Puccini Performer:
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor),
Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Rolando Panerai (Baritone),
Gianni Maffeo (Baritone),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
Michel Sénéchal (Tenor),
Gernot Pietsch (Tenor),
Hans-Dietrich Pohl (Baritone),
Hans-Dieter Appelt (Bass),
Elizabeth Harwood (Soprano)
Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,
Schöneberg Boys Choir,
Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1896; Italy Date of Recording: 10/1972 Venue: Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin Length: 110 Minutes 18 Secs. Language: Italian
La Bohème / Act 1: "Questo Mar Rosso"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Pensier profondo"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Abasso, abbasso l'autor!"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Si può" - "Chi è là?"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Io resto"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Chi è là?"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Si sente meglio?"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Che gelida manina"
La Bohème / Act 1: "Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì"
La Bohème / Act 4: "O Mimì, tu più non torni" (Duetto) - "Che ora sia"
La Bohème / Act 1: "O soave fanciulla"
La Bohème / Act 2: "Arranci, datteri!"
La Bohème / Act 4: "Gavotta"
La Bohème / Act 4: "C'è Mimì..."
La Bohème / Act 2: "Chi guardi?" - "Ecco i giocattoli di Parpignol"
La Bohème / Act 4: "Vecchia zimarra, senti"
La Bohème / Act 2: "Viva Parpignol..." - "Una cuffietta a pizzi"
La Bohème / Act 4: "Sono andati"
La Bohème / Act 2: "Oh!...Essa!...Musetta!"
La Bohème / Act 2: "Quando m'en vo'" (Musetta's Waltz)
La Bohème / Act 4: "Oh Dio! Mimì!"
La Bohème / Act 2: "Chi l'ha richiesto"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Ohè, là, le guardie!" - "Aprite!"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Sa dirmi, scusi"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Mimì! - Speravo di trovarvi qui"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Marcello. Finalmente!"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Mimì è una civetta"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Mimì è tanto malata!"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Donde lieta uscì"
La Bohème / Act 3: "Dunque: è proprio finita!...Addio, dolce svegliare"
La Bohème / Act 4: "In un coupé?"
Average Customer Review: ( 3 Customer Reviews )
Absolutely Fantastic !!August 18, 2015By phillip jackson (freeport, ME)See All My Reviews"I am a long time lover of opera, albeit an unsophisticated listener. BUT La Boheme always moves me. I buy it as a gift to family which converts them to lovers of this opera and opera in general."Report Abuse
Great BuyAugust 2, 2014By Marjorie S. B. (Fort Myers, FL)See All My Reviews"This recording is an amazing collection of some of the best singers in the last 100 years. Pavarotti, Freni and Ghiaurov, all in one CD of Puccini's La Boheme.........make up the best recording possible. Direction by Herbert Von Karajan adds to the beauty."Report Abuse
Magnificent In All RespectsFebruary 10, 2014By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"In my opinion, La Boheme is the crown jewel in Puccini's collection of operatic gems, and this wonderful 1974 interpretation offers compelling evidence to back up my assertion. There is one basic characteristic about this recording that you can take to the bank- it clearly ranks among the finest opera recordings that you will ever encounter. Everyone is at the top of their game here. For starters, consider the heroic, impassioned singing of Mirella Freni (Mimi),Elizabeth Harwood (Musetta),Rolando Panerai (Marcello), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Colline), Gianni Maffeo (Schaunard), and of course Luciano Pavarotti (Rodolfo). Then there is the comprehensive artistic vision needed to balance the singers with Puccini's incredibly beautiful orchestral score. In what can honestly be viewed as a demonstration of near-superhuman conducting, Herbert von Karajan shows that he has this vision and uses it to produce a near perfect blend of voice and orchestra- the results clearly speak for themselves. Finally, a special compliment must be awarded to the sublime performance of Maestro von Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Little effort is required on the part of the listener to sense, understand, and appreciate the lustrous sound world provided by the BPO, establishing a solid foundation upon which the singers can build. Puccini's score for La Boheme is presented with deep, lushly romantic string playing, biting brass, and poignantly effective winds, all with wide dynamic range and absolutely crystal clear sound. In short, here is a demonstration of a world class orchestra performing at its absolute peak, at a time when many considered it the finest orchestra in the world. The combination of all these considerations is, for want of a better phrase, a match made in Heaven, and the result is a recording filled with panache, emotional ferver, and downright artistic brilliance. Although I am well aware that other fine La Boheme recordings are available (just look at Arkivmusic's total offerings- over 100!), I have a hard time imagining how any could top this outstanding analog version, especially if orchestral excellence and overall sonic qualities matter. In summary, even if you own another, Karajan's majestic La Boheme unquestionably merits a valued place in your collection. This recording has 'Special' written all over it, so don't hesitate- try it and see for yourself!"Report Abuse