La leyenda del beso (Soutullo & Vert)

Angeles Gulin, Francesco Ortiz, Antonio Blancas. Coro Orfeo Gracienc, Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona, c. Benito Lauret
BMG Ariola España WD 71463

Dolores Pérez, Alberto Águila, Luisa de Córdoba, José Picaso, Santiago Ramalle. Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid y Coro de RNE, c. Enrique Estela
Montilla CDFM-93

Santiago Morell, Tina Lluró, Amparo Saus, Federico Caballé. c. Concordio Gelabert
Blue Moon BMCD 7547 [highlights]

This haunting score - possibly the collaborators' most consistently successful - receives a good performance on BMG, strongly sung, reasonably played and more than acceptably recorded. The situation is complicated by Montilla's inclusion of extra music, and the superior dramatic thrust of Estela's less tasteful reading. His team, not least Pérez, are more viscerally exciting. Presentation and transfer are well down to Montilla's usual standards; so on balance the BMG remains clear first choice.

The short extracts with the original 1924 cast make a fascinating document for specialists, generously coupled with similar extracts from El último romántico and La marcha de honor.