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  Living Stereo
  82876826212 (2 discs)
  Puccini: La Boheme - Leinsdorf
  Puccini: La Boheme

Anna Moffo
Richard Tucker
Marie Costa
Robert Merrill
Giorgio Tozzi
Philip Maero
Rome Opera House Orchestra
Erich Leinsdorf (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Opera
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Anna Moffo: Arias      

Reviews: 1

Review by threerandot April 21, 2008 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This recording of La Boheme features the incredible singing of Anna Moffo alongside a wonderful cast. The problems with this recording lies in the hands of its maestro.

This was my introduction to La Boheme, having only borrowed a damaged VHS tape from my local Library several years ago. There is plenty of remarkable singing in this recording and Anna Moffo deserves her reputation. Her voice is exsquisite and beautifully controlled when she sings They call me Mini. She sings the highest notes without any strain and complete control. In fact all of the famous arias from this opera are sung wonderfully. Richard Tucker is a strong and impressive Rodolfo, although some feel his voice is too heavy for this role. He does tend to over-emote at the close with his sobbing. Mary Costa is also beautiful as Musetta when she sings "Quando m'en vo'".

I do have reservations about Leinsdorf's approach however, particularly in the first and second Act, where his tempos run very quickly, This is less of a problem in the third and fourth acts, with tempos becoming more sensible and appropriate to the music. Leinsdorf seems to be in a rush, except when he reaches the famous arias and tunes and then he gives the singers the chance to emote and build characterization into their roles. He also seems to push some of the fortes up to a very jarring level. More than once I jumped in my seat during the second disc.

The vintage recording is very good with the orchestra perhaps a little closer than I'd like, but the singers are very well placed. The recording does have nice depth however with strong bass when needed. The sound stage is wide and impressive.

As a story, I wish I could say I like La Boheme as much as I like Butterfly, which I feel has a stronger story. Still, if you are an avid fan of this opera, or an avid Anna Moffo fan, you may enjoy this, but so much of this recording is rushed or dynamics are played too aggressively, due to Leinsdorf's heavy-handed approach. I am in doubt as to whether Anna Moffo's great singing makes up for the weaknesses in this performance.

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Works: 1  

Giacomo Puccini - La Bohème