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La Condesa de la aguja y el dedal (Guridi)

Pilarin Bañuls, Encarnita Máñez, Josefina Canales, Antón Navarro, Ramón Cebriá. Orquesta Sinfónica Columbia, c. Francisco Palos
Homokord HC 006 [highlights]

[same cast and selection]
Blue Moon BMCD 7555 [highlights]

Guridi's nostalgic evocation of mid-nineteenth century Madrid's music and manners is a light delight, though less personal than his earlier, Basque operas and zarzuelas. These recorded extracts from the original 1950 production are freshly presented by a cast who work well together in ensemble. The sparkling comedy cuarteto is a highlight, as is the orchestral Intermedio, a poetic evocation of dawn over Madrid.

There's little difference in the transfer qualities of the two alternative releases, though Blue Moon's 2005 issue is less processed-sounding, Homokord's 1999 version a mite fuller dynamically. The Blue Moon, however, is easier to come by, and more logically coupled with valuable highlights from two, better-known Guridi zarzuelas.

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