El huésped del Sevillano (Guerrero)

Dolores Pérez, Carlo del Monte, Rosa Sarmiento, Enrique del Portal. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Lírica Española, c. Federico Moreno Torroba
EMI 5 74214 2

Ángeles Chamorro, Dolores Cava, Alfredo Kraus, Enrique del Portal, Manuel Pereiro. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Manuel de Falla, c. Enrique García Asensio
Carillon CAL 24

Dolores Pérez, Teresita Silva, Luis Sagi-Vela, Santiago Ramallé. Coro y Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Enrique Navarro
Zafiro 1012-2 / or / Novoson Z-476

Dolores Cava, Julita Bermejo, Carlos Munguía, Gerardo Monreal. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Indalecio Cisneros
BMG RCA 33034 2

Marcos Redondo, Amparo Alarcón. c. Jacinto Guerrero
Blue Moon BMCD 7538 [extracts]

In a crowded field, the EMI recording under Torroba has special colour and atmosphere. Del Monte (in one of his finest performances on disc) and Pérez are an ideal pairing, and although this started life as a film sound track, the sound is acceptable enough and the price very reasonable.

Kraus's clarion rendition of the Canción de Espada is thrilling, and his quieter "Raquel" equally memorable. Chamorro's heroine is richly sung, too; and if it weren't for the dry, close-miked, gruelling sound this - the fullest version available, featuring a sprinkling of spoken dialogue as well as an absolutely complete musical score well pointed by García Asensio - would be clear first choice.

The other sets have comparable strengths. Sagi-Vela is a sensitive and subtle baritone hero for Zafiro, the most aristocratic of all. The downward transpositions he has to use aren't much to the music's disadvantage, though the same can't be said for the cuts inflicted on this already tightly constructed score. Pérez (in her early incarnation as "Lily Berchmann") is as effective here as for EMI and altogether this is recommended with reservations.

Munguía is the hero in the old, mono BMG set, well presented with complete libretto and synopsis, and generously coupled with a classic La Alsaciana. He sings in the del Monte style though without comparable beauty of tone, and Cava is pallid besides Pérez.

Redondo, another great baritone hero, is the compelling reason to invest in the Blue Moon historical extracts, sensibly coupled with more rare Guerrero also conducted by the composer.