La Calesera (Alonso)

Pilar Lorengar, Teresa Berganza, Manuel Ausensi. Coro Cantores y Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, c. Indalecio Cisneros
BMG Ariola España WD 71810 / or / Novoson Z-484

Ofelia Nieto, Marcos Redondo, Pablo Gorgé, C. Viladoms. Banda Municipal de Barcelona, c. Francisco Alonso
Blue Moon BMCD 7539 [highlights]

There is currently little choice here. Happily, the BMG is a CD to treasure. Berganza has little to do, but Pilar Lorengar is at her magical best in the all important role of Maravillas, singing with warmth and musical distinction throughout. Ausensi exudes his usual gruff machismo, not inappropriately, and the other soloists are good too. Cisneros gets a suitably robust response from his orchestral and choral forces, and the results do justice to Alonso's passionate, tuneful score.

The early 1926 recordings under the composer on Blue Moon are mainly rewarding as historical documents. Early technical constraints possibly account for Nieto's disappointingly lifeless singing, though Redondo already seems thoroughly at home in his role.