Gigantes y Cabezudos
Lily Berchman, Sánchez Cano.
Cantores Líricos de Madrid, Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c.
Daniel Montorio / Enrique Navarro
Ana Maria Iriarte, Carlos Munguia,
Nicholas Aldanondo, Maria Teresa Erdozain. Coro de camera de Orfeón
Donostiarra, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Ataulfo Argenta
Maria Espinalt, Teresa Sanchez,
Jose Permanyer. Coro de niñas, Coro Capilla Clásica
Polifónica del F.A.D. de Barcelona, Orquesta Sinfónica
Española, c. Rafael Ferrer
Mercedes Melo, Tino Folgar, Pedro
Orquesta y coros, c. Concordio Gelabert
Blue Moon BMCD 7509
Of the three 'modern' performances, the Zafiro issue
with Lily Berchman - the early stage name for Dolores
Pérez - is much the best. The intensity of her identification with
the heroine Pilar is vividly conveyed, and the whole performance has an energy
absent from its competitors. Cano does well in Jesús's crucial
solo, and the chorus scenes are thrilling. A bad mark to Zafiro for failing to
let us know who the minor soloists are, and including virtually no
documentation. That - and the fact the issue is getting hard to find - are the
only difficulties about this CD.
The Novoson is probably the better of its two not
very enticing rivals. The alternative, a lively reading on EMI conducted
by Rafael Ferrer, has scrawny sound and an acid-toned Pilar from the
ageing María Espinalt. There is more substance to
Argenta's account, though the recording is thin, and Iriate's
Pilar sounds matronly in the extreme - but in all honesty her somewhat lumpen
performance here is not unaffecting. Munguia contributes a stylish
Jesús, and the jotas go with a swing. In the absence of the
Zafiro, this short CD would fill the gap.
The classic account from Barcelona forces under
Gelabert on Blue Moon is better in nearly every way. Melo
is not ideal - her tone is strident rather than lovely, and the music lies high
for her - but she makes a more credibly young Pilar than her rivals, and the
whole performance (graced by Folgar's beautifully finessed Jesús)
is alive to a degree that most of the newer recordings fail to match. It is
coupled with an equally treasurable La viejecita
and represents great value.