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El dictador (Millán)

Emilio Sagi Barba, Luisa Vela, Enriqueta Conti. Orquesta y coro c. Rafael Millán
Aria SL 1027 [extended highlights]

El Dictador with its Russian setting was the obvious model for Katiuska seven or so years later, and the success of that masterpiece accounts for its later eclipse. There isn't a modern recording, but in any case it would be difficult to imagine it better done than it is here. The three duets for hero and heroine with Sagi Barba and his wife Vela are notably fine, but there is also a stirring Song of Liberty (does the English translation "The land fecundated by the sower" quite paint the picture, I wonder?) and an atmospheric orchestral Battle-Finale, with tripple tonguing trumpets and thunderous drums. Aria's sensible coupling is extracts from La dogaresa from the same period.

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