La pícara molinera (Luna)

Teresa Berganza, Pilar Lorengar, Ginés Torrano, Manuel Ausensi. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Indalecio Cisneros
BMG RCA 82876 590522 / or / Novoson Z-483

Sélica Pérez Carpio, Trini Avellí, Pepe Romeu, Marcos Redondo, Antonio Palacios. Orquesta del Teatro Apolo, c. M. Puri, M. Fuentes
Blue Moon BMCD 7535 [extracts]

Rejoice! BMG have at length (6/04) issued a CD transfer of the old Columbia LP, and very good it is too. Luna's subtle drama of rustic passions is magnificently conveyed in this stirring performance. Berganza and Lorengar are well-contrated as the opposed rivals for the affections of Juan, sung with affecting abandon by Torrano. He in turn is opposed by the ill-fated Pintu, sung with ardent machismo by the well-muscled Ausensi. The supporting cast is good, and Cisneros and his orchestra play the great Intermedio - a Desert Island choice if ever there was one - with catching rhythmic verve and power.

The original 1929 cast extracts (37') on Blue Moon make a valuable supplement to this, especially given that two numbers here - a drunken quartet and a soprano comedy song with chorus - didn't make it onto the well-filled LP version. The set centres on Redondo's matchless Pintu, but it's equally good to hear Romeu's lyric charm in the famous tenor staple "Paxarin", and Carpio in full dramatic flood as the teasing millgirl herself. Coupled with a 1931 Molinos de Viento this is self-selecting for Luna aficionados.