La del manojo de rosas (Sorozábal)

Isabel Penagos, Manuel Ausensi, Alicia de la Victoria, Ramón Regidor, Aurelio Rodríguez. Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid, c. Pablo Sorozábal
BMG Zafiro 74321 33463 2

Pilar Lorengar, Renato Cesari, Enriqueta Serrano, Enrique Fuentes, Francisco Maroto. Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid, c. Pablo Sorozábal
EMI-Hispavox CZS 7 67325 2 / or / Novoson Z-579

Teresa Berganza, Antonio Blancas, Conchita Laya, Ramón Regidor, Julián Molina. Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Pablo Sorozábal
BMG Alhambra WD 71583 (2CD) [with dialogue]

María Teresa Planas, Marcos Redondo, Vicente Simón, Estrella Rivera, Antonio Palacios. c. Pablo Sorozábal
Blue Moon BMCD 7514 [highlights]

All three recordings have great merit, though the dialogue in the absolutely complete Berganza/Blancas set hardly sparkles, the actors having apparently been chosen to sound as little like the respective singers as possible. Musically it is highly recommendable. So too is the classic Lorengar/Cesari version, subtlest of all, on two CD's with an equally unforgettable La tabernera del puerto, and this sounds very much better in EMI's latest digital transfer. The Zafiro with Penagos and Ausensi is also safe bet, especially fresh in the comedy numbers and still better recorded, and the fact that this alone is available as a single CD may tip the balance in its favour.

The 1936 Barcelona sessions caught 18 minutes worth of highlights, again under the composer. Redondo's Joaquín rightly takes centre stage, but he is well supported - not least by Simón in the patter duet for rival lovers - and with couplings of equal interest this would make a good appendix to the Zafiro or EMI issues.