Monte Carmelo (Torroba)

Pepita Rollán, Sélica Pérez Carpio, Luis Sagi-Vela, Eulalia Zazo, Alfredo Muelas. Coros y Gran Orquesta Sinfónica del Teatro Calderón Madrid, c. Federico Moreno Torroba
Homokord HOM10218 / or / Novoson CDNS-593

[digest from the full review]

Monte Carmelo (1939) was one of the first zarzuelas to see the light of day after the Civil War. The plot is a curious melange demonstrating the power of religion to douse amorous feeling, but luckily the original cast - including Sagi Vela as the romantic and religiose Conte de Monte Carmelo - were preserved in nine numbers under the composer's firm direction. Homokord reissue these in a good, no-frills transfer - and very enjoyable it all proves, even though Torroba's flame glows more fitfully than in Luisa Fernanda seven years before. The orchestral Intermedio (track 7) provides six minutes of subtly orchestrated Spanishry, flecked with the composer's very personal touches of mordant intensity. This at least really couldn't be by any other composer, and is very well worth adding to any collection.