Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

El Sombrero de tres picos
La Vida Breve - interludio y danza
El Amor Brujo

Teresa Berganza (sop) Sombrero
Marina de Gabarain (Amor)
rec Geneva 1961 (Sombrero, Vida Breve) 1955 (Amor)
L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet
DECCA LEGENDS 466 991-2 [68.40]

These performances are uniformly vivid. They are driven with effervescence and glow with an excitement that verges on rawness. They will take your breath away. Rhythms are driven along, goaded and pressed by Ansermet (1873-1969) who, though 73 and 78 when these recordings were set down does not conduct as a despairing worn-out but as a man with blood in his veins still excited and moved by music and by life. While not the equal of the classic Fruhbeck de Burgos on EMI Ansermet is something special. And I must not leave you with the impression that Ansermet is all adrenaline-drive and no heart. In the Pantomima of El Amor Brujo there is a honeyed sun-warmed tenderness last encountered in the classic Melodiya recording once available on Classics For Pleasure LP in the 1970s. Berganza is full of character in Tricorn but Gabarain is, to my taste, far too guttural and chesty in El Amor. Technical dimension: fine. Analogue tapes ADD'd.. A veteran's tiredness obtrudes occasionally in El Amor. Excitement and authenticity all in one.

Rob Barnett

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