Che gelida manina (La bohème), by Giacomo Puccini, arranged for trombone/euphonium/baritone/trumpet/cornet/etc. and piano: PDF downloads


A while ago I heard this clip of the great light music trumpeter Eddie Calvert playing Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro”:

I thought I’d try to apply his ultra-lyrical approach to another Puccini hit, and ended up learning “Che gelida manina”. Play resolutely to the gallery, as Mario Lanza suggests below, and you won’t go far wrong.

Your A4 PDFs will be available immediately after purchase.



Rodolfo the poet is alone in the four bohemians’ garret when there is a knock at the door. There stands Mimi, a winsome, consumptive embroiderer in search of a light for her candle. Rodolfo gives her a glass of wine, she loses her key, both their candles go out, and their hands touch to the sound of a sforzando in horn, clarinet and harp, which is where you take over from Rodolfo: “Che gelida manina! / How cold your little hand is!

The edition is based broadly on the 1897 reduction by Carlo Carignani for Ricordi, with a few tweaks from the 1920 Ricordi full score and several clarifications of prosody from the singers below.


  1. A two-page PDF solo part in the solo transposition and clef requested, with the Italian lyrics to help you figure out how to phrase it. Here’s a sample of the solo part in tenor clef for trombone.
  2. An seven-page PDF score containing the piano part and the solo part. Here’s a sample.

Some performance ideas, from Enrico Caruso (1906), Beniamino Gigli (1931(?) and 1936), Mario Lanza (1949 and 1951), Nicolai Gedda, Jussi Björling and Luciano Pavarotti (1965):

Some will lament my omission of Fritz Wunderlich, who I adore, but who I think is too sentimental in Puccini.

(The gallery images are of Adolf Hohenstein’s designs for Rodolfo and Mimi for the première of La bohème in Turin in 1896.)

Additional information

Solo instrument

Euphonium, Trombone, Bb Trumpet, C Trumpet

Solo instrument transposition

Bb, None

Solo instrument clef

Tenor, Treble

Approximate duration (mm:ss)