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The Complete Conchita Supervia - Volume 5: Elusive Selections and Alternative Takes
Conchita Supervia (mezzo soprano)
Full track-listing below
rec. 1928-30
Includes Siete Canciones populares Españoles performed by María Barrientos (soprano) & Manuel de Falla (piano) in 1928-30
MARSTON 51010-2 [70:07]

Over a number of years Marston has issued four 2-CD sets devoted to the art of Catalan mezzo Conchita Supervia, and I’ve reviewed three examples on this site: Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4. During the search for completeness, of which this label is a particularly striking example, rarities known to exist escaped capture. The four sides that were missing have now turned up and this will be exciting news for Supervia completists who will themselves have almost given up hoping for the sides’ existence.

The newly discovered sides are Longás’s Canço de traginers, Granados’s Boires baixes, Chapi’s El milagro de la virgin: Romanza and Searrano’s La reina mora. Avid discographers should note the matrix numbers KI3512, SO6942, SO7901 and SO7902. Also included in this volume, which stands essentially as a kind of appendix to the four previously issued volumes, are twelve alternative takes of published material already issued but not previously included in the volumes thus far issued. Indeed, as an appendix to the Supervia appendix and to round out the volume, Marston also presents María Barrientos’s only electrically recorded studio venture – her de Falla songs with the composer at the piano, a cornerstone of the Falla discography.

The alternative takes don’t differ markedly from the issued ones but do reinforce, if it should be needed, her playfulness, her girlish liquidity, and that – to Anglophone listeners - highly idiosyncratic vibrato. A number of the alternative takes, whilst undocumented on previous volumes of this Marston series, were however issued on 78s at the time. Some appeared on Italian or Argentinian Odeon, for example, and Flor y luz, recorded in Paris in 1931 for Odeon, turned up on Parlophone PO51. It’s the alternatives that were never issued at the time that represent the biggest discographical cachet, of course, but the availability of them all, in toto, is a blessing. The ultra-rarities were certainly worth the wait. The narrative intensity and sweetly phrased melancholy of the Granados, in particular – where she is accompanied by a string quartet – is especially pronounced.

Where comparison allows, one hears that Barrientos and de Falla are less overtly expressive, playful and passionate than the more virtuosic pairing of Supervia and Frank Marshall, two of whose alternative de Falla takes can be encountered in this volume. Barrientos is more inclined to sing to a sole listener – Supervia to an imagined recital hall. Nevertheless, the Barrientos-de Falla recording is clearly of the utmost significance and has been well transferred here, as have, indeed, all the alternative and other sides, even though some obviously proved easier than others.

There are no notes in the booklet, simply typically scrupulous and full recording details. A page of notes details both singers’ lives in succinct detail.

Jonathan Woolf

Full track-listing
CD 1 (70:05)
Odeon, Paris, 4 July 1930 / With orchestra conducted by Gustave Cloëz
Cançó de traginers (Longás; De Sagarra)
(KI3512) 184262
Odeon, Barcelona, 25 February 1931 / With Vilalta String Quartet
Boires baixes (Granados; Roviralta)
(SO6942) 184342
Odeon, Barcelona, 2 November 1932 / With orchestra conducted by Pacual Godes
EL MILAGRO DE LA VIRGEN: Gracias al cielo, pude llegar (Chapí; Domínguez)
(SO7901) 184309
LA REINA MORA: Compañero del alma y de la vida (Serrano; S. and J.Quintero)
(SO7902) 184309
Odeon, Madrid, 13 February 1928 / With orchestra conducted by Modesto
Flor de España (Luna; Villar)
(xxS4618-2) 122003
Fonotipia, Milan, 19 June 1928 / With orchestra conducted by Angelo Albergoni
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Cara immagine ridente (Rossini)
(xxPh6321-2) Italian Odeon N6659
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO: Non so più cosa son (Mozart)
(xxPh6323-1) previously unpublished
Fonotipia, Milan, 8 February 1929 / With orchestra conducted by Angelo
MIGNON: Leggiadre rondinelle (Légères hirondelles) (Thomas)
with Vincenzo Bettoni, bass(xxPh6456-1) previously unpublished
Odeon, Barcelona, 28 February 1930 / With orchestra conducted by Modesto
Granada (Albéniz; Cuenca)
(Xxs6027-1) Italian Odeon N6678
Odeon, Barcelona, 10 March 1930 / With Frank Marshall, piano
Arranged by De Falla)
(SO6062-2) 184183
by De Falla)
(SO6063-1) 184183
Odeon, Paris, 24 April 1931 / With orchestra conducted by Gustave Cloëz
CARMEN: Attends un peu, Carmen (Bizet)
with Gaston Micheletti, tenor(XXP7266-1*) Argentine Odeon 125075
CARMEN: Non, tu ne m’aimes pas (Bizet)
with Gaston Micheletti, tenor(xxP7265-1) Argentine Odeon 125075
Odeon, Paris, 31 November 1931 / With orchestra conducted by Paul Minssart
Flor y luz (Puche; Vila)
(KI4928-2) this take issued only on Parlophone PO51
Parlophone, London, 17 March 1932 / With Ivor Newton, piano
Lullaby, op. 57, no. 2 (Scott; Rossetti)
(LO3007-1) previously unpublished
*On Marston The Complete Conchita Supervia Vol. 3, this take was mistakenly listed as 1; it was take 2.
Ultraphone, Paris, May 1933 / With the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique
conducted by Paul Bastide
FRASQUITA: J’ai ma jeunesse ensoleillée (Act 1, Finale) (Lehár)
with Louis Arnoult, tenor(P76398-2) previously unpublished
María Barrientos
Columbia / With Manuel de Falla, piano / Paris, 1928 and 1930
31 March 1928, (WLX 308) D11701, 3 June 1930, (WLX 1368) PFX1
5 June 1930, (WLX 1415) PFX2
EL AMOR BRUJO: Cançion del fuego fatuo (De Falla)
5 June 1930, (WLX 1415) PFX2
Soneto a Córdoba (De Falla)
3 June 1930, (WLX 1369) PFX2
Languages: Catalan [Tracks 1-2]; Spanish [3-5, 9-11, 14,17-25]; Italian [6-8]; French [12-13, 16]; English [15]



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