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Toscanini Collection Vol 55 - Puccini: La Bohčme / Albanese

Release Date: 06/23/2010 
Label:  Rca Victor Gold Seal Catalog #: 60288   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Licia AlbaneseFrank ValentinoAnne McKnightGeorge Cehanovsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony ChorusNBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 35 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Fans of Toscanini's 1946 recording of Puccini's La Bohème will be happy to know that its best sounding "official" CD incarnation, released in 1991 via RCA's Toscanini Edition, is back in print, thanks to Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reissue program. Toscanini conducted the opera's 1896 premiere, and this performance conveys all of the edge-of-seat excitement of a first performance. Sure, tempos sometimes are fast to the point of discomfort, yet under Toscanini's watch the music-making is so impassioned, so disciplined, so thoroughly integrated in terms of vocalism, dramatic impact, and orchestral character, and so faithful regarding the composer's intentions that you can't help but respect the outcome.

Read more passages catch my ear anew: the unwritten yet painstakingly-judged rubato in the middle section of Musetta's waltz, framing Anne McKnight's small but pretty voice; the textural clarity of Act 2's most complex goings on; the hushed, hauntingly sustained character the conductor evokes at the top of Act 3; Nicola Moscona's tender parlando phrasing in his Act 4 aria "Vecchia zimarra"; Francesco Valentino's warm, playful Marcello; and the full-voiced, red-blooded interaction between Jan Peerce and Licia Albanese, the opera's protagonists. And who can't help but smile when Toscanini vocalizes along with them during "O soave fanciulla"? Full libretto and translations plus informative notes by Toscanini biographer Harvey Sachs round out a release that every Bohème lover should know.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

La Bohčme by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Licia Albanese (Soprano), Frank Valentino (Baritone), Anne McKnight (Soprano),
George Cehanovsky (Baritone), Nicola Moscona (Bass), Salvatore Baccaloni (Bass),
Jan Peerce (Tenor)
Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Chorus,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1946 
Venue:  Live  NBC Studio 8-H, New York City 
Length: 94 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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