Cádiz (Chueca and
José Bros, Isabel Rey, Ana
Ibarra, Emilio Sánchez, Luis Álvarez, Coro de la Comunidad de
Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, c. Víctor Pablo
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 -
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.