Thank you Bob, for this precious gift ! Reposted, now on FF
# Composer: Giacomo Puccini
# Singers: Victoria De Los Angeles, Jussi Björling, Robert Merrill a. o.
# Orchestra: RCA Victor Orchestra
# Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham
# Vinyl (1956)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# Label: RCA
# ASIN: B001PQMPWE
# Size: 1.07 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
Every so often in the recording industry, there’s a miracle, and this is one of them. This 1956 recording was organized quickly in New York, not on the heels of a stage performance and not even with a noted orchestra. All the right singers were in town at the same time–some popping in to sing a few bars before heading for the airport–and the result is the single greatest recording of this oft-recorded opera. The leads–Victoria de Los Angeles and Jussi Björling–would make it special in any case. But Robert Merrill is excellent and Lucine Amara is a light-voiced, French-sounding, ultra-stylish Musetta. This is also the only full-length Puccini recording by the great conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. A classic. –David Patrick Stearns
I know there are many great performances of Boheme, but this, to my mind, is the one to worship. It has everything going for it.
I think one of the best parts of the recording is, in fact, the conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham…now, he may have been more famous for his “lollipops” that he frequently programmed and for his taste for the unknown, and I don’t think he was the greatest conductor ever, but he certainly rises to the occasion here. I read somewhere that he thought this was one of the best orchestrated pieces in the repertoire, and that he loved this opera more than almost anything else, and his conducting certainly reflects those notions. the result is amazing. His sense of rubato is uncanny, he knows where to bring out the orchestra, when to lead singers, when to have the singer(s) take over, etc. The RCA victor orchestra, just a pickup orchestra essentially, surpasses itself and has never sounded better.
The cast is impeccable, possibly the best ever assembled. De los Angeles is a superb Mimi, portraying this sickly character without a trace of exaggeration, but certainly not without passion and emotion. And what a glorious voice too!
Glorious voice definitely applies to Jussi Bjoerling, one of my favorite singers. I was always familiar with him, for my dad is professional opera singer and has virtually every Bjoerling recording, even the acoustic ones before his voice changed! Rodolfo was also Bjoerling’s signature role: he made his Met debut with it. Just listen to “che gelida manina” and prepare for some stunning singing.
The rest of the cast is exemplary: robert Merrill, who I dont’ think ever had a bad singing day, is an excellent Marcello, tozzi a wise-sounding Colline, John Reardon an enthusiastic Schaunard, Lucine Amara a flighty Musetta, as the role should be, and last but not least, the inimitable fernando corena as the pesky landlord, possibly the most comical ever.
This recording should be listened to, not talked about, so get it already!
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- System: Limited Edition Denon DL 103 SA
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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