La viejecita (Caballero)
Mercedes Melo, Mary Isaura, Pedro
Vidal. Orquesta y coros, c. Concordio Gelabert
Blue Moon BMCD 7509 / or / Homokord HC005
Dolores Perez, Elsa del Campo,
Santiago Ramallé. RNE Chorus, Madrid Chamber Orchestra, c. Montorio
Ana María Iriarte,
Toñy Rosado, Carlos Munguía, Manuel Ausensi. Coro Cnatores de
Madrid, Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Ataulfo Argenta
Alhambra SC 75 [LP,
In the continued absence of Argenta's much-loved
account with Iriarte and Rosado, the historic 1930 account under
Gelabert is first recommendation. Although the Preludio is
missing, nothing else is, and the performance remains a classic, vivid and
fresh, with good balance for its period. Melo makes much more attempt to
characterise The Old Lady in her famous song than Pérez, well
though the latter sings, and there is a palpable sense of fun throughout
proceedings which is missing in the newer version.
Blue Moon couple it sensibly with Gigantes y cabezudos from the same excellent team.
Although the Homokord transfer is smoother, their coupling is the
unrelated Azabache - and in any case this CD is now difficult to obtain.
Add to all this the fact that the currently available Orfeon CD is a terrible
transfer from the original Zafiro LP, without track divisions and with no
coupling whatsoever, and the Blue Moon is a virtual shoe-in.