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María la O (Lecuona)

Dolores Pérez, Luis Sagi-Vela, José Granados, Luisa de Córdoba, Maño López. Coro y Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Félix Guerrero
Zafiro 33460 2 / or / Novoson Z-581

Alina Sánchez, Rodolfo Chacón, Estudio Lírico de las Artes Escénicas, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, c. Gonzalo Romeu
EGREM CD 0122

Alina Sánchez, Estudio Lírico de las Artes Escénicas, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, c. Gonzalo Romeu
Egrem Parnaso CD 0583 [extracts, with selections from María la O and Amalia Batista]

There are two very good versions of Lecuona's iconic masterpiece currently available. The unbuttoned 1995 Havana recording on EGREM was taken from a stage production. Quite how much of the additional music is Lecuona's is open to question, but it is excitingly performed and conjures up a real sense of atmosphere not always present in the classic Zafiro version, well though the likes of Córdoba put the score across. It is also currently considerably easier to track down online.

The extracts from this performance on Parnaso make up a substantial part of a compilation which makes a very useful introduction to zarzuela cubana.

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