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Pasión Española
Juan Mostazo MORALES (1903–1938)
Falsa moneda (Fake Coin) [3:59] *
Manuel Font De ANTA (1889–1936)
La Cruz de Mayo (”May Cross” Celebrations) [2:50]
Juan Mostazo MORALES
La bien pagá (The Well-Paid Girl) [4:07]
Genaro Monreal LACOSTA (1894–1974)
Porque te quiero (Because I Love You) [3:00]
Juan Mostazo MORALES
El día que nací yo (The Day I Was Born) [4:38]
Manuel LÓPEZ-QUIROGA Y MIQUEL (1899–1988)
¡Ay, Maricruz! [3:18]
Me embrujaste (You Bewitched Me) [4:45]
Genaro Monreal LACOSTA
Cariño verdá (True Love) [2:40]
Te lo juro yo (I Swear it to You) [2:40] *
¡No me quieras tanto! (Don’t Love Me So Much) [4:54]
Juan Mostazo MORALES/Francisco Merenciano BOSCH (b. 1969)
Antonio Vargas Heredia [5:27]
Ojos verdes (Green Eyes) [5:52] *
Antonio Álvarez ALONSO (1867–1903)
Suspiros de España (Longing for Spain) [3:57]
Plácido Domingo (tenor)
José Maria Gallardo del Rey (solo guitar)*
Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid/Miguel Roa
rec. Teatro Albéniz, Madrid, July 2007
Texts and English translations enclosed
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6590 [53:49]
Experience Classicsonline

‘The copla /…/ along with zarzuela and flamenco, constitutes the three-pronged spear of recent Spanish popular music’, writes Carlos Santos in the liner-notes to this issue. And what is copla? Plácido Domingo explains it on the back of the jewel-case: ‘… a story told in 3 or 4 minutes – a “mini-opera” aimed at touching people deeply. You have to feel them passionately and perform them with spirit and conviction …’ It is music written by composers but so closely related to and inspired by the folk music tradition that it is practically indistinguishable from the ‘real’ folk music. Domingo heard coplas sung by good interpreters in Mexico and here he performs a baker’s dozen of them as a tribute to those singers and to once more expand his recorded repertoire one step further. All through his distinguished career he has been a cross-over artist and whatever he has been singing he has done so with conviction and involvement. That he at 66, and after more than 45 years as an opera singer with an uncommonly wide repertoire, ranging from baroque to the heaviest Wagner roles, still has the voice in perfect shape is more or less a miracle. Besides singing he has been conducting extensively and been running a couple of opera houses. Recently he has announced that he is going to change back to his original voice type and become a baritone. Close scrutinizing of his present vocal status may reveal a slight dryness – but only slight – but there is no noticeable strain even on the highest notes. If there is a criticism to be made it is that he rarely scales down to something below mezzo forte – and this is criticism that was sometimes levelled against him even forty years ago. But he is a good story-teller and he sings with conviction as always. The words mean something to him and he conveys this meaning to the listener. Moreover there is a youthfulness in his tone that is remarkable and I believe no one hearing this disc at a blindfold test would guess the age of the singer.
The songs deal with the eternal human topics – to be found in operas of all ages – ‘love, death, jealousy, grief, loneliness and pride’ and the national flavour of Spain is tangible. I suspect that not too many readers outside Spain will know the names of the composers but this is of little importance: these are skilled craftsmen. Manuel López-Quiroga y Miquel, who lived until he was nearly 90, composed almost 3000 works, among them several zarzuelas.
Recorded in Spain with Spanish musicians this is as authentic as imaginable and the disc is another feather in Plácido Domingo’s by now well-stocked cap.
Göran Forsling


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