La bruja (Chapí)

Teresa Berganza, Alfredo Kraus, Carlos Munguía, Dolores Cava. Coro de Cámara del Orfeón Donostiarra,
Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Benito Lauret

BMG Alhambra WD 75125 (2) / or / Novoson Z-567

Though there are some barbarous cuts inflicted on Chapí's celebrated zarzuela (especially in the last of the three acts) and the recording quality hasn't been improved by a fuzzy transfer, Lauret leads a performance fully worthy of this atmospheric and musically absorbing score. Berganza sings with rich character in the title role, neatly suggesting the Old Crone without guying her, but the main burden falls on Kraus as her heroic lover and champion, Leonardo. His reading is a classic of zarzuela discography and the set is worth acquiring on his account alone. Good support from Munguia and Cava in the comedy roles make this a prime recommendation for any library.