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Puccini: La Boheme / Beecham, De Los Angeles, Bjorling

Release Date: 04/09/2002 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 67753   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Victoria de los AngelesJussi BjörlingRobert MerrillJohn Reardon,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony OrchestraColumbus BoychoirRCA Victor Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 47 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Perhaps no recording of this opera has such a special place in the hearts of opera lovers. There is no doubt that the Karajan/Pavarotti/Freni recording is more ideally put-together; Beecham’s ensemble is sometimes less-than-perfect, and at least once a singer comes in too early. But this set exudes a warmth and presence that makes it almost unbearably moving. It may just be the sheer sound of Victoria de los Angeles’ and Jussi Björling’s voices: each has a plaintive quality that goes straight to the heart. The pair actually sound as if they are singing to one another, and Björling’s whisperings are the definition of poetry. The others in the cast are of the same mind—this is a small story of everyday people—a small tragedy. Read more Beecham’s tempos are much like Karajan’s—just three minutes shorter overall—but it has a chamber quality, an intimacy, that is the very opposite of Karajan’s symphonic approach. One is left shaken at the end.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [4/2011]

Includes full libretto.
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Works on This Recording

La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano), Jussi Björling (Tenor), Robert Merrill (Baritone),
John Reardon (Baritone), Giorgio Tozzi (Bass), Lucine Amara (Soprano),
Fernando Corena (Bass), William Nahr (Tenor), Thomas Powell (Baritone),
George Del Monte (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Columbus Boychoir,  RCA Victor Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1956 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 107 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 THAT FOR WHICH THERE IS NO OTHER November 16, 2012 By Gregg A. (ST PAUL, MN) See All My Reviews "In an interview with Irving Kolodin, Beecham said of Puccini's Boheme, "He gets on with it." In this sine qua non version of this chestnut Beecham and his cast get on with it from the first four notes. Anyone who wants a Boheme in their collection must have this. De Los Angeles' voice was in its prime when this recording was made. And Bjoerling was, too, in his prime. That Lucine Amara, Robert Merill, Georgio Tozzi, John Reardon and Fernando Correna were on hand is a blessing. If you've room or the pocketbook for only 1 Boheme, this is it!" Report Abuse
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