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Puccini: La Boheme / Nagano, Te Kanawa, Leech, Ambrosian Singers, LSO

Ambrosian Singers / Nagano / Lso
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 80179  
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Alan EwingRichard LeechRoberto ScandiuzziCarlos Chausson,   ... 
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraAmbrosian SingersSt. Clement Danes Grammar School Boys Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Amazingly, this is Te Kanawa's first recording of Mimì and she has successfully managed to integrate her mature, lustrous sound with the poignant vulnerability and gradually ebbing strength of Mimì to remarkable effect. It is a hauntingly convincing performance.

Nearly a century after its premiere in Turin in February 1896 we have a fresh and vibrant new recording of this opera – one of the best known and probably most loved in Puccini’s output. Nagano is well able to delineate Puccini’s large musical canvas, sweeping the colours of the orchestral scoring and the glorious vocal lines onwards and upwards with an intoxicating, rumbustious swagger.

If Te Kanawa had made a recording of this role
Read more around the time she sang it at Covent Garden in 1976 (with Pavarotti as Rodolfo) or in the subsequent revival in 1979, it would have made for a fascinating comparison. Amazingly, this is her first recording of Mimì and she has successfully managed to integrate her mature, lustrous sound with the poignant vulnerability and gradually ebbing strength of Mimì to remarkable effect. It is a hauntingly convincing performance.

Leech provides an excellent shaping of Rodolfo with a rich, passionate tone. Titus (Marcello) and Gustafson (Musetta) are as finely characterised and vividly sung as one could hope and all the ensemble interplays, especially in Acts III and IV, have a fresh and dynamic intensity. One wish only: that Nagano could have been persuaded not to intrude occasionally with Barbirolli-like humming and grunts.

-- Elise McDougall, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Alan Ewing (Bass), Richard Leech (Tenor), Roberto Scandiuzzi (Bass),
Carlos Chausson (Bass Baritone), Alan Titus (Baritone), Barry Banks (Tenor),
Nancy Gustafson (Soprano), Vernon Midgley (Tenor), Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano),
Gino Quilico (Baritone), Oliver Broome (Bass), Leslie Fyson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  St. Clement Danes Grammar School Boys Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 106 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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