Cádiz (Chueca and Valverde)

José Bros, Isabel Rey, Ana Ibarra, Emilio Sánchez, Luis Álvarez, Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, c. Víctor Pablo Pérez
Deutsche Grammophon 0028947648963

Teresa Verdera, Enrique Ferrer, Pau Bordas, María Dolores Leal Ruz, Coro de Zarzuela Cádiz, Orquesta Manuel de Falla, c. José Luis López Aranda
Discos de la Frontera Sur - clásica

It has taken a long time for a studio recording of Chueca and Valverde's two-act epic género chico classic to emerge, but the DG performance has been well worth the wait. With excellent solo work, notably from a clarion-voiced Bros, and very good choral singing indeed as well as full texts in Spanish and English, this 2012 issue is completely recommendable. Pablo Pérez directs with taste and sobriety, even if there's a suspicion that more "fizz" might be extracted from the composers' constellation of dance-form numbers.

The 2001 Cádiz performance from Discos de la Frontera Sur is also very good - and well-recorded, too, live in concert. It's more rough-edged and less well-groomed than the DG studio version, but full of vitality. The snag is once again the conductor, who prefers safe and steady tempi throughout. The ultimate impact is surely too heavy to suit Chueca and Valverde's feather-light scoring and dance inspiration. In any case, this recording is now (sad to say) virtually impossible to obtain.