La Parranda (Alonso)

Pilar Lorengar, Manuel Ausensi, Julia Bermejo, Gerardo Monreal. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Nicasio Tejada
BMG Alhambra WD-71467 / or / Novoson Z-571

Lolita Rovira, Marcos Redondo, Conchita Panadés, Bartolomé Bardají. Orquesta Sinfónica Española, c. F. Delta
EMI 5 74213 2

The most complete recording of Alonso's Murcian melodrama is a good one, dating from the 1960's. Lorengar's Parranda catches her in her operatic prime, powerful and intense. Ausensi gives one of his very best performances on disk - the famous Song to Murcia is delivered with a confident swagger which is entirely successful, the rondalla band neatly pointed by Tejada's confident direction. The supporting singers are excellent, the recording full - even if the transfer to CD is one-dimensional.

This ranks above EMI's extracts, coupled with Los Claveles. Dating from the very early days of LP, this is notable for Redondo's veteran finesse in the Song to Murcia. It also includes a pensive Nocturne (Prelude Act 2) featuring solo strings which is frustratingly missing from the 'complete' set.