La boda de Luis Alonso
Inés Rivadeneira, Teresa
Berganza, Carlos Munguía, Gerardo Monreal, Ana María
Fernández. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c.
Although they are set in Cadiz rather than Madrid, the twin
sainetes líricos, El baile ...
and La boda de Luis Alonso, represent for many the quintessence of
genéro chico zarzuela. Anyone who only knows the famous
Intermedios from El baile and its 'prequel' La boda is in
for a treat - all of the music concerning the amorous and professional problems
of the famous Andalucian dance master is in the same vein of sparkling,
sun-drenched melodic grace.
Although La boda ("The wedding") was written second,
it explains much of what goes on El baile ("The dance") and it is
bizarre that this most sensible of couplings has been severed in the Novoson
reissue, where La boda is placed with Chueca's La
alegría de la huerta.
As the hapless Luis Alonso, Munguía gives one
of his very best performances in the long Alhambra series. His energetic
boleras is a highlight, and there are equally vivid contributions from
Rivadeneira as his two-timing spouse, Berganza as a scheming
gypsy girl, and Monreal as a lecherous guitarrist. Argenta
directs with affectionate zest, the choral contribution is first class, and
altogether this is one of the treasures of the old BMG catalogue now being
reissued by Novoson.