"All singers simply superb! There is no doubt that Tebaldi is the perfect Mimi together with the ideal lyric tenor Bergonzi for our jealous Rodolfo.Tebaldi is supreme in All Arias and Duets.Even without reading the libretto her singing will make you cry (personal experience).Such performances make me consider her (together with Montserrat Caballe)as the greatest soprano of the century.D'Angelo and Bastianini form our perfect funny couple of the cast.Just listen to them whenever they argue..the perfect Match! On the whole, THE BEST RECORDING OF THE BEST PUCCINI GET IT!"
Great Performance, Spectacular Sound, Low Price
Jaime J. Weinman | Canada | 01/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Others have commented on the performance. There are things I could imagine being done better -- Serafin, while generally excellent, can be a bit syrupy; I'd prefer a less thin-voiced and soubrettish Musetta than D'Angelo; the Schaunard muffs a couple of good comic opportunities. But overall, this has as high a standard of performance as any BOHEME recording -- and the best part is, it's an ALL-ITALIAN performance (or nearly all; I think D'Angelo may have been Italian-American), and it really does help, especially in the comic scenes, that all the singers know what they're singing about.Next, the sound. It took me a couple of listens to get used to the style of sound used here, but I soon came to be impressed by it, and finally to love it. The singers are not really distant; it's just that they're recorded in somewhat realistic perspective, as you might get in the opera house. This creates a real feeling of a stage picture, helped by the fact that the recording was "staged" in the studio: Most of the sound effects were done simultaneously with the music rather than being superimposed afterwards, and the stereo stage movement is meant to simulate a stage performance, so that you hear not only entrances and exits, but movements that correspond to all sorts of stage actions (though of course the singers are usually dead-center for their arias!). The sense of atmosphere conjured up by producer Erik Smith is quite phenomenal: The beginning of act 3, with the offstage and onstage action played out in differing perspectives, makes you almost feel like you're there watching and >feeling< it happen before you. Many audiophile friends of mine consider this the best-sounding opera recording ever made. I'm no audiophile, but I'm inclined to agree; in sonic terms it outclasses even Decca's Freni-Pavarotti recording, and runs rings around most of today's claustrophobic digital recordings.Even at full price, this would be my first choice among BOHEME recordings; at this price, it's one of the great bargains in the operatic catalogue (though you'll have to find a libretto and translation somewhere else)."
The best la boheme for the price
Meghan Goria | 12/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Surely there are aspects of other Boheme recordings that one might find preferable, but it is hard to beat the sheer beauty and Italian glow offered here. Tebaldi and Bergonzi, who performed regularly together in the 1950s and 1960s, are presented here at the height of their vocal prime. Serafin, who conducted Callas on many occasions, conducts here with gorgeous warmth of tone so that each scene is truly touching and alive. There are surely newer Bohemes in the catalogue but I have to admit I never tire of this recording...I suspect Puccini would have given two thumbs up!!!"
Anthony Louis | USA | 08/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For a 1959 recording, the sound is quite good. The early experimentation with stereo is interesting and one gets used to it after a couple of listenings. The cast is superb. The CD was a pleasant surprise. For the relatively low price, I was expecting mediocre quality, but instead I got a beautiful recording with an excellent cast. I'm sure this particular version of Boheme will become a staple in my operatic listening.
Addendum: I have listened to this recording many times since I wrote the original review. It gets better with each listening. Bergonzi is unsurpassed in his rendition of Che gelinda manina (track 8 on CD 1). This aria alone is worth the price of the recording."