Notes and Editorial Reviews
2 Discs for the Price of 1! Full libretto with English translation included.
"In some ways, this new Telarc recording could hardly be more different from my benchmark versions, which are larger-than-life traversals that play to the back row. Unless you keep a close eye on the opera world, you might not know many of Telarc’s singers. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be very familiar ten years from now. Most if not all of them are on the way up.
Two things in particular make this recording noteworthy, and Woods identified both of them in my interview with him: the ensemble spirit, and the dramatic veracity. For this, he and Spano probably should share the honors. What creates the veracity is detail,
and this recording is filled with it. Try, for example, the start of act III. I love the slightly annoyed tone of the Customs Official’s “Vengo!,” the earthy “Hopplà!” of the milkmaids and carters, the apparent tipsiness of the revelers inside the tavern, and, upon Mimì’s entrance, her breathlessness. No other recording paints as complete a picture as this. Another moment: in act IV, Marcello’s response “Ah, miseria!” (“Ah, poverty”) when asked by Musetta if there is any coffee or wine in the garret is heartbreaking, to the point that I am fogging up just thinking about it...
You’ll probably wait a long time before you hear a chorus and orchestra better prepared for La bohème than Atlanta’s. It is good to know that the late Robert Shaw’s legacy lives on. Spano is a non-interventionist conductor, but that’s not to say that the conducting here is dull or routine. As I hope is clear from what I already have written, his personality comes through in the conscientiousness and subtlety of this recording, not through a Karajan-like superimposition of ego on the score.
Telarc’s engineering team has captured the “being there” feeling that audience members must have had. Indeed, entrances and exits, offstage effects, and the use of props are audible without creating distraction. There are many well-engineered recordings of this opera on the market, but I think this one is unique for the splendid way in which the live setting has been preserved.
The verdict: keep your favorite recording(s) of La bohème by all means, but if you love this score, Telarc’s new recording puts a fresh spin on it, so it deserves a high recommendation."
-- Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare
Works on This Recording
La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Georgia Jarman (Soprano),
Kevin Glavin (Bass),
Fabio Capitanucci (Baritone),
Christopher Schaldenbrand (Baritone),
Denis Sedov (Bass),
Fabio Maria Capitanucci (Baritone),
Marcus Haddock (Tenor),
Norah Amsellem (Soprano)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,
Atlanta Symphony Chorus
Written: 1896; Italy
Venue: Live Live Atlanta, Georgia
Length: 101 Minutes 38 Secs.
Featured Sound Samples
Act I: "Che gelida manina"
Act I: "Sì, mi chiamano Mimì"
Act IV: "O Mimì, tu più non torni"
Be the first to review this title