La boda de Luis Alonso (Giménez)

Inés Rivadeneira, Teresa Berganza, Carlos Munguía, Gerardo Monreal, Ana María Fernández. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Ataulfo Argenta
Novoson Z-530

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.