PUCCINI La bohème • Thomas Schippers, cond; Nicolai Gedda (Rodolfo); Mirella Freni (Mimi); Mario Sereni (Marcello); Mario Basiola (Schaunard); Ferruccio Mazzoli (Colline); Mariella Adani (Musetta); Rome Op House O & Ch Read more class="BULLET12b">• EMI 91998 (2 CDs: 103:08 Text and Translation)
This recording of La bohème undoubtedly belongs to the best things Thomas Schippers ever recorded on disc. Although initially, Victoria de los Angeles was planned to be cast for the role of Mimi, it was later decided to offer it to a young rising star at the time, Mirella Freni. It would prove to be a wise decision. It was eventually Freni’s magnificent and disarming charm that made this performance so unique. Recorded some five years before her sumptuous Decca recording with Pavarotti and Karajan, it has preserved an enchanting youthful freshness.
Nicolai Gedda, EMI’s ever-reliable and versatile tenor, was brought in for the role of Rodolfo. Together, Freni and Gedda formed quite a remarkable couple. Maybe one cannot find the same warmth as on the Decca recording, but it’s still a very impressive one. Gedda’s voice is powerful and straightforward; but, especially in the beginning of the first act, his voice sounds a bit pale and flat. Fortunately, this gets better and better towards the middle. The rest of the cast is very homogeneous; Mario Sereni is a humorous Marcello—Mario Basiola and Ferruccio Mazzoli are both noteworthy as Schaunard and Colline.
The orchestra’s playing is precise and secure—a pleasant experience, since that’s usually not something you’d expect from an Italian orchestra in the 1970s. Schippers’ conducting is energetic and his eye for detail proves that he was a really great conductor. It’s a pity that his life was cut short by lung cancer, from which he ultimately died in 1977.
The digitally remastered sound offers good spatial depth and detail. The shrill sound of the brass and the boxy (but colorful) orchestral sound of the strings are the only things that remind us of the earlier days of recording history.
La Bohèmeby Giacomo Puccini Performer:
Ferruccio Mazzoli (Bass),
Mario Sereni (Baritone),
Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Mariella Adani (Soprano),
Nicolai Gedda (Tenor),
Mario II Basiola (Bass)
Rome Opera House Orchestra,
Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1896; Italy Language: Italian
La Bohème, Act I: Questo Mar Rosso mi ammollisce (Marcello/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act I: Aguzza l'ingegno (Rodolfo/Marcello/Colline)
La Bohème, Act I: Legna!...Sigari! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Colline/Schaunard)
La Bohème, Act I: Si può?...Che è la? (Benoit/Marcello/Schaunard/Colline/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act I: Al quartiere Latin ci attende Momus (Schaunard/Marcello/Rodoflo/Colline)
La Bohème, Act I: Chi è la?...Scusi (Rodolfo/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act I: Oh! sventata, sventata! (Rodolfo/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act I: Che gelida manina! (Rodolfo)
La bohème (2007 Remastered Version), Act One: Sì. Mi chiamano Mimi (Mimi/Rodolfo): La bohème (2007 Digital Remaster), Act One: Sì. Mi chiamano Mimi (Mimi/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act I: Ehi! Rodolfo! (Schaunard/Colline/Marcello/Rodolfo/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act I: O soave fanciulla, o dolce viso (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act II: Aranci, datteri! (Coro/Schaunard/Colline/Rodolfo/Mimi/Marcello)
La Bohème, Act II: Chi guardi? (Rodolfo/Colline/Mimi/Schaunard/Marcello/Coro/Parpignol)
La Bohème, Act II: Viva Parpignol! (Coro/Marcello/Mimi/Schaunard/Colline/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act II: Oh! Musetta! (Marcello/Rodolfo/Schaunard/Colline/Coro/Alcindoro/Musetta/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act II: Quando me'n vo'soletta (Musetta/Marcello/Alcindoro/Mimi/Rodolfo/Schaunard/Colline)
La Bohème, Act II: Chi l'ha richiesto? (Colline/Schaunard/Rodolfo/Coro/Marcello/Musetta/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act III: Ohè, là, le guardie....Aprite!
La Bohème, Act III: Sa dirmi, scusi, qual'è l'osteria (Mimi/Sergente/Doganiere)
La Bohème, Act III: Mimi?!... Speravo di trovarvi qui (Marcello/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act III: Marcello. Finalmente! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act III: Mimi è una civetta (Rodolfo/Marcello)
La Bohème, Act III: Mimi è tanto malata! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimi)
La Bohème, Act III: Addio...Donde lieta uscì al tuo grido (Mimi/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act III: Dunque è proprio finita! (Mimi/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act III: Che facevi? Che dicevi? (Marcello/Musetta/Mimi/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act IV: In un coupè? (Marcello/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act IV: O Mimi, tu più non torni (Marcello/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act IV: Che ora sia?...L'ora del pranzo (Rodolfo/Marcello/Schaunard/Colline)
La Bohème, Act IV: Gavotta....Minuetto....Pavanella (Rodolfo/Marcello/Schaunard/Colline)
La Bohème, Act IV: C'è Mimi...C'è Mimi (Musetta/Rodolfo/Schaunard/Mimi/Marcello)
La Bohème, Act IV: Ho tanto freddo. Se avessi un manicotto! (Musetta/Rodolfo/Schaunard/Mimi/Marcello)
La Bohème, Act IV: Vecchia zimarra (Colline/Schaunard)
La Bohème, Act IV: Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire (Mimi/Rodolfo)
La Bohème, Act IV: "Mi chiamano Mimi....Il perché non so" (Mimi/Rodolfo/Schaunard)
La Bohème, Act IV: Dorme? Riposa (Musetta/Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimi/Schaunard/Colline)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Freni's first complete opera recordingJune 17, 2013By D. Scamehorn (Kentwood, MI)See All My Reviews"I almost passed over this disc--"one of many, many recordings"--but I'm glad I didn't. This young cast (young conductor too) seems perfect for an opera that is, after all, about being young and in love. And for an added bonus, to hear the young Mirella Freni in her first complete opera recording--she is so natural! Lovely voice, singing in her mother tongue--what's not to like? No more analysis--get this recording, and enjoy."Report Abuse
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