La tempestad (Chapí)

Lina Huarte, Dolores Pérez, Alfredo Kraus, Francisco Kraus. Coros líricos, Gran Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Enrique Estela
Carillon CAL 3

Pilar Lorengar, Toñy Rosado, Carlos Munguía, Manuel Ausensi. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Ataúlfo Argenta
Novoson Z-578/1-2 (2 CD) / or / Novoson Z-578 (2CD)

This 3-act "Tempest" is not based on Shakespeare. Rather, it is a maritime melodrama not very far removed from Arrieta's popular Marina, though Chapí's is the better work, technically and melodically. Its comparative neglect is perhaps down to the fact that the romantic juvenile lead is a difficult soprano "breeches" role, which for musical reasons would be hard to cast as a tenor.

In the criminal absence of the almost complete Columbia 2-LP set from the CD catalogue - naturally paced by Argenta and with memorable performances from Lorengar, Ausensi and Rosado - there must be a guarded recommendation for Carillon's single CD of extended highlights, under the enthusiastic Estela.

This is worth the money for Alfredo Kraus alone. He sings his famous romanza, a "Salve" to his native Brittany coast, with such exhilarating freedom we can almost sense the sea breeze. The effortful Munguia for Argenta cannot compare with him. Supporting cast includes brother Francisco Kraus as the villainous Simon, who sings well enough; but the recording is uncomfortably dry, and this is not a work which stands up well to the wholesale cuts.