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El barberillo de Lavapiés (Barbieri)

María Bayo, Lola Casariego, Manuel Lanza, José A. Sempere. Coro Polifónico Universitario de La Laguna, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, c. Víctor Pablo Pérez
Auvidis Valois V4731

Luis Sagi Vela, Mari Carmen Ramírez, Dolores Pérez, Francsico Saura. Coro Cantores de Madrid. Orquesta Lírica Española, c. Federico Moreno Torroba
EMI 5 74163 2

Ana María Olaria, Teresa Berganza, Carlos Munguía, Gerardo Monreal, José María Maizo. Orfeón Donostiarra. Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Ataúlfo Argenta
Novoson Z-486

With a good cast, notably the youthful high baritone Lanza in the title role (normally given to a tenor) and lively direction from Pablo Pérez, the new Auvidis disc has rightly swept all before it, revealing Barbieri's score in its full range and brilliance for the first time.

The two older performances have much to recommend them, too. On EMI Sagi Vela's unique tenor-baritone produces an elegant, fastidious Lamparilla that remains compelling, while Torroba's urgent direction lends passion to proceedings. Argenta for Novoson boasts much the best Paloma in Berganza, but Monreal's tenor Lamparilla sounds too like Munguia's Don Luis for comfort, and the recording shows its age.

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