Poster for the world première of Puccini's La Bohème
Arturo Toscanini conducted the world première of Puccini's La Bohème on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Turin. Almost exactly 50 years later, on 3 and 10 February 1946, he conducted the work again, for NBC broadcasts in New York, later issued on record. Though composer and conductor has a relationship that was stormy at times, Toscanini's devotion to La Bohème is evident not only in the finished performance but also in his rehearsals, some of which were recorded.
Here is a short extract (lasting just over five minutes) of Toscanini rehearsing the NBC Symphony Orchestra in Musetta's Waltz Song from Act II. This isn't one of the Toscanini rehearsals with explosions of temper, but it's fun to hear the great conductor singing most of Musetta's part, as well as to note his strict adherence to Puccini's a tempo markings and other details of the score.
The passage rehearsed is from Fig. 21 to Fig. 26 in Act II.
Puccini and Toscanini