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Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is particularly breathtaking for those who have always wanted a recording of Pavarotti and Freni in their greatest roles, in their primes, but without Herbert von Karajan, who led them in Decca's studio recording in l973 in a symphonic, large-scaled, very beautiful, but almost lugubrious performance. Taped in Rome in 1969 and led handsomely and with great sensitivity by the lamented Thomas Schippers, this set is extraordinary. Not only are the two superstars in glorious, first-bloom voice, but one senses a closeness in their relationship that's impossible to fake (they were born in the same town in the same year and shared a wetnurse as infants!). In addition, since both are in such fresh voice, they sing with their innate musicality,
elegance of line, and ringing top notes in an easy fashion--they always sound perfectly natural. Sesto Bruscantini, though a bit long in the tooth, is a sympathetic Marcello and Nicolai Ghiuselev impresses as Colline. Rita Talarico's Musetta is acceptable. The RAI chorus and orchestra, while hardly on a level with Karajan's Berlin forces, are good enough. Even if you own another Bohème (or two), at this price, this one is a must.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Deluxe Version of this performance, with a detailed booklet and libretto, is available on Opera d'Oro's
Grand Tier series.
Works on This Recording
La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Sesto Bruscantini (Bass Baritone),
Rita Talarico (Soprano),
Nicolai Ghiuselev (Bass),
Alessandro Maddalena (Bass),
Gianni Maffeo (Baritone),
Franco Calabrese (Bass),
Mario Frosini (Baritone),
Mario Frosini (Bass Baritone),
Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Mario di Filici (),
Elio Prisco (Bass),
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,
Italian Radio Chorus Rome
Written: 1896; Italy
Date of Recording: 01/17/1969
Venue: Live Rome, Italy
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A Lively La Boheme June 15, 2015
By Gary Lee (Palm Springs, CA) See All My Reviews
"I have several CDs on the Opera D'oro label that are of very poor sonic quality. Basically, I won't listen to them. For those unfamiliar with the label, they are live recordings of operas or arias, most of which shouldn't have been recorded. Fortunately, this is the exception to my experience with the label. The sound quality is quite good for a live recording this old. Even on my audiophile sound system it is excellent listening. The performances are uniformly good. This is Pavarotti before he became an opera god, and I think it he was never in better voice. Freni is also in fine form, better than some other recordings I've heard of her. Obviously their youth serves them well. Although this Violetta is a bit weak, the other supporting voices range from good to quite acceptable. I agree with the Arkiv notes on the recording. For the price, it is the best value of a complete recording of Boheme. Highly recommended."