El bateo (Chueca)

María Bayo, Emilio Sánchez, Manuel Lanza, José Julián Frontal, Enric Martínez-Castignani. Coro de Cámara de Tenerife, Coro Infantil de Consedrvatorio de Música de Tenerife, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, c. Victor Pablo Pérez
Deutsche Grammophon 0028947630593

Teresa Berganza, Gerardo Monreal, Joaquín Portillo, Juan de Andia. Coro Orfeón Donostiarra, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Indalecio Cisneros
Novoson Z-545

'The Baptism' was Chueca's last great success. After the rural excursion of La alegría de la huerta the composer was returning home to Madrid and its teeming street life, and this beautifully proportioned little score is amongst his most endearing and inexhaustible. The new DG features a top quality cast, with Bayo and Lanza on notably good form, and given the excellent documentation, clear recording and complete texts in Spanish and English it becomes a clear first choice, coupled with the first absolutely complete La Gran Vía.

Like its new rival, the mono Alhambra/Novoson is also uncut, though coupled with the equally substantial El año pasado por agua. The old classic remains a delight, with characterful soloists and Cisneros pressing home the catchy dance rhythms to great effect. Highly recommended, despite a crudely processed CD transfer.