Los Claveles (Serrano)

Teresa Berganza, Plácido Domingo, Dolores Cava, José Manzaneda. Coro de solistas líricos, Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona, c.García-Navarro
BMG Alhambra WD 71588

María Espinalt, Pablo Civil, Josefina Puigsech, Francisco Paulet. Coro y Orquesta Sinfónica Española c. Rafael Ferrer
EMI 5 74213 2

Lily Berchman (Dolores Pérez), José Picaso. Cantores Líricos de Madrid, Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Enrique Navarro
Zafiro 50603017

Ana María Iriarte, Carlos Munguía, Julita Bermejo. Gran Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid, c. Ataúlfo Argenta
Novoson Z-549

Amparo Romo, Vicente Simón, Amparo Albiach, Antonio Palacios. c. ?
Blue Moon BMCD 7510

[digest from the full comparative review]

Three of the four available performances have their merits. Vocally, BMG take the honours with their stellar line-up, and the coupling - a marvellous La Dolorosa - is a huge bonus. The acting honours go to EMI, and although Espinalt was slightly past her best, Civil's "Mujeres" is wittily imagined and Ferrer conducts more alertly than his BMG rival.

Best of all, if you don't crave modern sound, is the revelatory early cast performance on Blue Moon. Romo's "Que te importa" is a thrilling example of the Way They Were Then, and Simon is impeccably elegant in his solo. The one disappointment is the Zafiro. The recording is fierce and one-dimensional, Berchman/Pérez sings under the note and exhibits little variety of tone. Picaso is simply crude, and the CD (unlike its rivals) is parsimoniously short of a coupling.