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Puccini: La Boheme / Alagna, Gheorghiu, Chailly, Et Al

Puccini / Gheorghiu / Alagna / Keenlyside
Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001651202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Silvio ScarpoliniIldebrando D'ArcangeloRiccardo Brando SpedicatoAngela Gheorghiu,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala ChorusLa Scala Chorus of White Voices
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With its new La Bohème Decca has pretty much sewn up the market on three generations of outstanding recordings of this work. Tebaldi and Bergonzi (still my personal favorite) represent the 1950s, Freni and Pavarotti represent the 70s, and now Gheorghiu and Alagna take us into the new millennium with a recording that ranks among the very best. This may be Chailly's finest work on disc. Although his tempos are often faster than usual, his sensitive phrasing and alert rhythms win me over. Gheorghiu and Alagna, a real-life couple, pour their hearts into the lead roles. Neither is the most distinctive singer or blessed with the voice of the century, but they participate in a curious synergy that makes this recording much more than the sum Read more of its parts. Alagna is blustery at times, and sometimes too loud, but the climax of "Che gelida manina" is gorgeous, and his boyish interpretation is very winning. Gheorghiu's voice is thick and dark, and she uses it with skill. Her assertive characterization works well, and does nothing to diminish the character's pathos. Together, they are incredibly stirring. The other Bohemians are well sung and vividly portrayed. Veteran Alfredo Mariotti has a grand time as both Benoit and Alcindoro. Chailly has used Francesco Degrada's 1988 critical edition of the score to prepare this recording. Most of Degrada's changes (based on Puccini's original materials) are subtle, but dozens of subtle changes add up to a reading that sounds scrubbed clean, but that is still filthy with passion!

– Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare [Want List, 2000]
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Works on This Recording

La Bohčme by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Silvio Scarpolini (Tenor), Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (Bass), Riccardo Brando Spedicato (Boy Soprano),
Angela Gheorghiu (Soprano), Roberto Alagna (Tenor), Simon Keenlyside (Baritone),
Elisabetta Scano (Soprano), Alberto Ragona (Tenor), Gianfranco Valentini (Bass),
Alfredo Mariotti (Tenor), Franco Podda (Baritone), Roberto De Candia (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  La Scala Chorus of White Voices
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/1998 
Venue:  Teatro Studio, Piccolo Teatro, Milan 
Length: 99 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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