La Alsaciana (Guerrero)

Pilar Lorengar, Isabel Díaz, Manuel Ausensi, Carlos Munguía. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Ataulfo Argenta
Novoson Z-480 (Tambor) / or / BMG RCA 33034 2 (Huésped)

Susana Cordón, Rodrigo Esteves, Carmelo Cordón. Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro de RTVE, c. Enrique García Asensio
RTVE Música 65148 [coupled with choruses and orchestral works]

Marcos Redondo, Sélica Pérez Carpio. c. Daniel Montorio
Blue Moon BMCD 7540 [extracts]

This tuneful one-acter was Guerrero's first major success, and it is typical of the composer's direct, tuneful style and strong theatrical sense. Lorengar and Ausensi are on good form, and the chorus adds to the very positive effect of Argenta's assured reading. This recording is available in alternative couplings. The Novoson reissue has Chapí's bracing El tambor de Granaderos. The earlier BMG is suitably paired with Guerrero's own El huésped del Sevillano, has cleaner sound, and comes with full song texts.

The new RTVE recording was issued to mark the 50th Anniversary of the composer's death. It is notably well sung and played, but lacks the motive force and personality of that older version. A low-cut, undynamic recording hardly help matters, whilst the generic Spanishry of Guerrero's late orchestral Tríptico Toledano understandably doesn't provoke much enthusiasm either. The Danza Mora (Jháia) is more lively, and the 5 choruses - including rarities from Loza Lozana (1943) and María Sol (1925) - raise the temperature temporarily; but in general this is not one of RTVE's most successful discs.

Redondo and Pérez Carpio provide an object vocal lesson in the substantial nuggets from the main work on Blue Moon, coupled with the former's equally satisfying set from El Ama.