Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 03 Dec 2021 02:33:00 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Amadeo Vives - Dona Francisquita (1994) Amadeo Vives - Dona Francisquita (1994)

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Libretto by F. Romero and G.F. Shaw

Disc: 1
1. Act 1. Scene 1
2. Act 1. Siempre es el amor   play
3. Act 1. Passacaille et trio
4. Act 1. Cuando un hombre se quiere casar
5. Act 1. Canción de la juventud
6. Act 1. Cuando un hombre se quiere casar (fin de scène)
7. Act 1. Canción del ruiseñor
8. Act 1. Scène et finale du premier acte
9. Act 2. Scène et Cofradía de la Bulla
10. Act 2. Duo

Disc: 2
1. Act 2. Romance. Por el humo se sabe  play
2. Act 2. Duo
3. Act 2. Scène. Bella estrella, Quintete
4. Act 2. Scène et finale du deuxième acte
5. Act 3. Prélude et Coro de Románticos
6. Act 3. Scène
7. Act 3. Canción del Marabú
8. Act 3. Fandango    play
9. Act 3. Duo
10. Act 3. Finale

Dona Francisquita - Maria Bayo
Fernando - Alfredo Kraus
Aurora la Beltrana - Raquel Pierotti
Cardona - Santiago Sánchez Jericó
Doña Francisca - Rosa María Ysas
Lorenzo Pérez - Ismael Pons
Leñador - Emilio Sánchez
Buhonera - María Luisa Maesso
Sereno - Emilio Sánchez
Irene la de Pinto - Mercedes Aleman Herrera
Doña Liberata - Encarna Santana Hernandez
Doña Basilisa - Beatriz Gonzalez Ramos
Juan Andrés - Alfonso Lopez Raymond
La Mama - María Luisa Maesso
Torero - Juan Enrique Simo Pérez
Miliciano - José Luis Alonso Romero
Aguadora - Montse Pérez Rivero
Naranjera - María Dolores Coello
Jornalero - José Miguel Pérez Romero
Su mujer - Sandra Ramos

Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife
Coro Polifonico de la Universidade de la Laguna
Antoni Ros Marbà, 1993


Amadeo Vives (18 November 1871 – 1 December 1932) was a Spanish musical composer, creator of over a hundred stage works. He is also known by the Catalan form of his name, Amadeu Vives. He is best known for ‘Dona Francisquita’, which Christopher Webber has praised for its "easy lyricism, fluent orchestration and colourful evocation of 19th Century Madrid—not to mention its memorable vocal and choral writing" characterizes as "without doubt the best known and loved of all his works, one of the few zarzuelas which has 'travelled' abroad".


Those interested in opera and operetta sometimes turn a musical corner to come across an unexpected and welcome surprise. This is the case with Doña Francisquita. If a recording is to feature as one of the best, most original recordings then this is surely one. Some of the tracks are stunning, both a delight to listen to musically and in performance. The zarzuela (a Spanish form of light operetta with music, song and dance) originated at the Palace of La Zarzuela, near Madrid, where musical fiestas were regularly held in the 17th Century. The fashion for stage zarzuelas, which were often satirical in nature, grew in the mid-19th Century with composers like Arrieta, Barbieri, Bretón and Giménez, some of whose works already feature in the international CD catalogue. Of its genre this work by Vives is a particularly high-class example. Until now Vives as a composer has been unknown to me. Sadly little about his musical background is contained in the notes. We are told about his love of Catalonia and that he was Professor of Composition at the Madrid conservatory. He had an accident which caused semi-paralysis but the conservatory gave him assistance to complete the composition of the score. To what extent this help was made is unclear. We do know that Vives often insisted on writing the music before getting the lyricists to work out the words. Since he was Professor of Composition we can understand why the score contains such bright and catchy music with excellent orchestral texture. His score contains a wealth of musical ideas that turn in unexpected directions with temporary changes of key. The plot concerns a love affair between a student, Fernando, and the 'Francisquita' of the title. Although loved by Francisquita, Fernando ignores her advances, preferring to think he is in love with an actress from La Cruz Theatre. Humour presents itself when Francisquita is wooed by the student's father in front of her mother, where the mother mistakenly believes that it is she who is being wooed. Francisquita pretends to accept the elderly man's advances to make his son, her hopeful lover, jealous and win her affections. Another triangle exists where the actress taunts her other admirer, Lorenzo. A carnival follows where the actress sings a spirited pasacalle. This carnival proceeds across Act 2 and into Act 3, giving Vives an excuse to introduce some spectacular music. An amount of deception and double-dealing follows. All is resolved when the old man realises that he is too old as a match for Francisquita and so believes that his son should marry the girl instead. In the finale they all celebrate the forthcoming wedding. Vives' score is fresh and exciting, full of colour and the music flows well. He has an excellent feel for harmony and rhythm, providing subtle changes of key to add interest. Interestingly, the opening scene is musically of a different style being through-composed. One could be forgiven for thinking it carries more than a passing likeness to a passage by Puccini. ---Raymond J. Walker,

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Thu, 16 Sep 2010 13:26:34 +0000
Antologia de la Zarzuela (1992) Antologia de la Zarzuela (1992)

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Vol. I
01. La Revoltosa- Preludio
02. La Verbena De La Paloma- Seguidillas
03. La Gran Vía- Chotis De Eliseo Madrileño
04. Agua, Azucarillos Y Aguardiente- Coro De Barquilleros
05. El Ultimo Romantico- Bella Enamorada
06. La Dolores- Jota
07. La Boda De Luis Alfonso- Intermedio
08. Bohemios- Coro De Bohemios
09. El Huesped Del Sevillano- Raquel
10. La Dolorosa- Relato De Rafael
11. La Del Soto Del Parral- Romanza De German
12. Doña Francisquita- Fandango
13. La Alegria De La Huerta- Jota

Vol. II
01. La Boda De Luis Alfonso - Intermedio
02. Luisa Fernanda- Mazurca De Las Sombrillas
03. La Tabernera Del Puerto- No Puede Ser
04. La Del Manojo De Rosas- No Corte Mas Que Una Rosa
05. La Del Manojo De Rosas- Hace Tiempo Que Vengo Al Taller
06. La Rosa Del Azafran- Cancion Del Sembrador
07. La Bruja- Jota
08. El Tambor De Granaderos- Jota
09. La Cancion Del Olvido- Cancion De Una Ronda
10. Katiuska- Vivia Sola
11. Molinos De Viento- Serenata
12. La Tabernera Del Puerto- Todos Lo Saben
13. Cádiz – Jota


Zarzuela, form of Spanish or Spanish-derived musical theatre in which the dramatic action is carried through an alternating combination of song and speech. Topics of the libretti (texts of the productions) vary widely, ranging from stories derived from Greco-Roman mythology to tales of modern-day life in Madrid, in former Spanish colonies, or in other areas with a large Hispanic population. Most zarzuelas incorporate vocal ensemble numbers (such as trios and duets), lyrical solo songs known as romanzas, various types of local folk musics, and dance.

The use of music in stage plays had become a standard practice in Spain by the late 15th century, and that practice laid the foundation for the emergence of various forms of Spanish musical theatre. During the early to mid-17th century the arts found favour among the Spanish nobility. King Philip IV (reigned 1621–65) often hosted extravagant receptions that included performances of short comic plays with musical accompaniment. Many of these events were held in La Zarzuela, the royal hunting lodge, so named because it was surrounded by zarzas (“brambles”). Musical theatre performances of the type held at the lodge eventually became known as zarzuelas. Later, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), such zarzuela performances not only became an official royal spectacle—i.e., a form of entertainment that was sanctioned by the court and intended mainly for the monarchs and the Spanish nobility—but also played an active role in the social and political consolidation of Spain as a monarchy and as a colonial power.

Ultimately, the period of royal sponsorship of zarzuela productions was short-lived, as Italian and French opera became increasingly popular in Spain during the 18th century. Even the Spanish royalty grew to favour foreign opera over local forms of musical theatre. In an attempt to reestablish the integrity of local tradition, King Charles IV decreed at the turn of the 19th century that all foreign operas be performed in Spanish by Spanish citizens. The move did not, however, immediately spark the resurgence of a “national” musical theatre along the lines of the earlier zarzuela-style performances. Rather, the foreign titles continued to be staged, the only significant difference being the language of the texts—now Spanish—and the plots and style of the productions stayed essentially the same. Although it did not entirely yield the intended result, Charles IV’s initiative nevertheless provided Spanish singers with more performance opportunities than they had had in previous decades. Moreover, it laid the foundation for the creation of training schools that would ultimately help to maintain a solid tradition of musical theatre in Spain.

After the Spanish War of Independence, during which musical theatre productions were scarce, Spanish stages continued to be dominated by foreign forms, particularly the French operetta and the Italian bel canto opera, the latter of which was overwhelmingly favoured by King Ferdinand VII. According to Charles IV’s earlier decree, however, the repertoire still had to be performed in Spanish by Spanish citizens. Consequently, a tradition was established whereby audiences were able to experience musical theatre in their native language, which in turn generated a demand for new vernacular musical theatre works, both in Spain and in its colonies.

The first musical theatre piece in Spanish in the 19th century was produced at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid in 1832 and was followed by apparently infrequent performances of other new titles. Opera parodies in Spanish, later known as zarzuelas parodias (“parody zarzuelas”), made a brief appearance during the mid-19th century. Typical zarzuelas parodias mocked Italian operas that had been successful in Spain by appropriating the music but introducing a new plot that ridiculed the original story line. The zarzuelas parodias were important because they created a space for Spanish musical theatre to subvert the dominance of Italian opera on the lyric stages of Spain. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Sat, 13 Nov 2010 20:05:37 +0000
Jésus Guridi - El Caserio • José Serrano - Los de Aragon (1990) Jésus Guridi - El Caserio • José Serrano - Los de Aragon (1990)

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El Caserio:

Acto I
01 Preludio y coro
02 Coro general
03 Dúo de Ana Mari y Joshé Miguel
04 Chomin, Manu y Joshé Miguel
05 Romanza de Santi play
06 Final del acto I

Acto II
07 Preludio del acto II
08 Los de Elgóibar, Mingorreta y Lecanda II
09 Romanza de Joshé Miguel
10 Coro general
11 Dúo de Ana Mari y Santi play
12 Dúo de Joshé Miguel y Chomin
13 Final del acto II

Acto III
14 Preludio del acto III. Romanza de Ana Mari y Coro
15 Inosensia y Chomin
16 Final de la obra

Pilar Lorengar: Soprano (Ana Mari)
Joaquina Belaustegui: Soprano (Inosensia)
Manuel Ausensi: Baritono (Santi)
Mari Carmen Perez Parral: Soprano (Eustasia)
Carlos Munguia: Tenor (Joshe Miguel)
Jullo Uribe: Tenor (Txomin)
Jose Maria Maiza: Baritono (Manu)
Juan Gorostidi: Director del coro
Julian Perea: Maestro concertador
Ataúlfo Argenta: Director
Gran Orquesta Sinfónica
Coro de Cámara del Orfeón Donostiarra


Los de Aragón:

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1. Copla
2. Romanza play
3. Ma Petite Tres Jolie Poupee
4. Vuelvam Las Horas Lejanas
5. Cantemos A La Vigren
6. Dios Te Salve Maria play
7. Duo
8. Palomica Aragonesa

Lilly Berchman - Gloria
Vicente Simón - Agustin
Santiago Ramalle - Cantador

Coro de Radio Nacional de Madrid
Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid
Daniel Montorio y Enrique Navarro


Jesús Guridi Vidaola (Vitoria, 25 de septiembre de 1886 - Madrid, 7 de abril de 1961) fue un compositor vasco. Entre sus obras destacan El Caserío, Diez melodías vascas y Amaya.

Muy influido por Wagner y los músicos del romanticismo tardío, encuentra en las raíces del folclore vasco su inspiración y las primeras notas que más tarde darán cuerpo y alma a sus composiciones. Guridi abarca con solidez un enorme abanico de géneros: música de cámara (cuartetos para cuerda), composiciones vocales (corales), orquestales, piezas religiosas para órgano, óperas y zarzuelas. Entre sus obras destacan: El caserío (1926), Diez melodías vascas (1940), Así cantan los niños (1909), Amaya (1920), Mirentxu (1910), Una aventura de Don Quijote (1916), La meiga (1929), Seis canciones castellanas (1939), Sinfonía pirenaica (1945) y Homenaje a Walt Disney (1956).


The music of Jesús Guridi (1886-1961) has been a real discovery for me in the past few years. This recording of his 1926 zarzuela 'El Caserío' ('The Homestead') increases my enjoyment of his always tuneful and skillfully orchestrated music by adding the one of his theatrical works to Naxos's Spanish Classics series. This three-act zarzuela is the first of several Guridi wrote to Spanish (as opposed to Basque) libretti but on Basque themes. The story is a kind of 'Meistersinger' set in a fictional Basque village. Santi, an aging homestead-owner, a kind of Hans Sachs, loves his niece Ana Mari, the daughter of his long-dead love who had instead married one of Santi's brothers. She, too, loves her uncle and would indeed marry him except that she is secretly in love with her cousin, the profligate charmer José Miguel, who initially is not interested in her. As the plot proceeds José Miguel comes to recognize that he loves Ana Mari, Santi renounces his claim on his niece and all ends well.

This zarzuela contains much folk-music, both real and that composed by Guridi, and much of it is in the quintessential Basque 5/8 rhythms of the 'zortziko' and includes an 'espatadantza' (Basque sword dance). The prelude to Act II is particularly effective containing, as it does, all the work's main themes. There is a particularly affecting aria by Santi, 'Sasibill, mi caserío' ('Sasibill, my homestead') in which he sings of his love for his ancestral home. It is reprised in the finale. Another aria, sometimes excerpted from the opera, is 'Yo no sé que veo en Ana Mari' ('I don't know what I see in Ana Mari') in which José Miguel suddenly recognizes that he is in love with his cousin Ana Mari. Emilio Sánchez, singing José Miguel, has a virile baritonal tenor that is quite effective. Ana Rodrigo's Ana Mari is lyrical and lovely if occasionally strained on top. It is a real pleasure to have the wise portrayal of Santi by one of the long-time mainstays of Spanish opera, baritone Vicente Sardinero, who unfortunately died not long after this recording was made in 2001. The secondary parts are well-taken and the chorus, so important in this zarzuela's folk setting, is the excellent Sociedad Coral de Bilbao. Not enough good can be said for the orchestral accompaniment by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao under the flexible conducting of Juan José Mena, who has conducted others in the Naxos series of recordings of Guridi's music.

I can recommend this CD even for someone who has no idea what the music of Guridi might sound like because it is unfailingly melodic, rhythmically alive, full of local color and fine singing. I earlier compared it thematically to 'Die Meistersinger' (there's even a poetry contest -- rather than a singing contest as in 'Meistersinger' but of course the poetry is sung!) but otherwise it is probably closest in its use of folk song and folkways as well as nationalistic fervor to 'The Bartered Bride.' I've been humming bits of it for days. ---Scott Morrisom


José Serrano Simeón was born in Sueca, Valencia on 14th October 1873, son of the conductor of the town band. His father gave him his first music lessons - by the age of five he knew his sol-fa, and at twelve he could play violin and guitar with proficiency. In 1889 he left for Valencia, spending two years there in the Conservatoire studying piano, violin and composition with Salvador Giner. In 1892 he took a scholarship to Madrid - only to return home a year later, disillusioned with the capital artistically as well as economically.

Five years later came the turning point. He took the chance to work as amanuensis for the nearly blind Caballero, collaborating on the scoring of Gigantes y Cabezudos, and writing up his experiences in the musical journal, El Salonillo. In 1900 he was generously offered the libretto of El motete by the famous Alvarez Quintero brothers. The work was a decided success, marking as it did the arrival of a new style to suit the new century. From then on he was never short of commissions, taking his place amongst the most prolific zarzueleros of the day. He also wrote some songs and vocal works, including the celebrated Hymn to Valencia (1909) - and an opera, unfinished at his death, La venta de los gatos (1943.) He died in Madrid on 8th March, 1941. Of Serrano's 50 or so zarzuelas, a considerable number have managed to retain their place in public affection. La reina mora (1903); the exotic tragedy Moros y Cristianos (1905); El pollo Tejada (1906) and El amigo Melquíades (1914),both written with Quinito Valverde; Alma de Dios (1907); L'alegría del batallíon (1909); La canción del olvido (1916) with its ever-popular "Soldado de Nápoli"; and Los de Aragon (1927) are all in the one-act tradition of the género chico. Some of his later works, such as Los Claveles (one act, 1929) and La dolorosa (1930) - his last and perhaps most respected score - are longer and more ambitious in scope. Golondrina de Madrid, on which he was working at the time of his death, proved a failure when finally produced in San Sebastian in 1944.

His musical personality is robust rather than specially distinctive - though he often taps a rich vein of melodic inspiration. He fully recognised his own limited technical ability, keeping his harmonies and orchestrations simple, and his strongest suit is undoubtedly a powerful theatrical intuition and unfailing power to touch the heart. He certainly directed the mood of the género chico away from the sophisticated, urban wit of Chapí or Bretón towards a simpler, popular theatre of the emotions. In this sense, Serrano is a true heir of Chueca and Caballero - with a substantial tranfusion of red blood from Puccini and his verismo contemporaries.

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Fri, 11 Mar 2011 19:28:08 +0000
Pablo Sorozabal - Las de Cain (1965) Pablo Sorozabal - Las de Cain (1965)

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01 Preludio
02 Terceto
03 Cuarteto
04 Duo
05 Final del acto I
06 Preludio del acto II
07 Romanza
08 Concertante
09 Numero de D. Segismundo
10 Cuarteto
11 Final del acto II
12 Preludio del acto III
13 Romanza
14 Duo
15 Final del acto III

Rosalia - Teresa Tourne
Marucha - Ana Higueras
Amalia - Caridad Vasco
Estrella - Alicia de la Victoria
Fifi - Maria Aragon
Doña Elvira - Charlito Gimenez
Alfredo - Renato Cesari
Tio Cayetano - Julio Catania
Peín - Segundo Garcia
Don Segismundo - Luis Frutos
Marín - Ramon Regidor
Tomás - Tomas Cabrera

Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid	
Pablo Sorozábal – director


Sorozábal’s artisan family moved from the Basque countryside to San Sebastián a few years before Pablo’s birth on September 18th 1897. He was something of a child prodigy on piano and violin, earning his living in cinemas, cafés and fairgrounds, and playing with the San Sebastián Casino Orchestra under the influential Fernández Arbós. He always regretted having lost his ability to speak the Basque language: "because of the pressures of life and a centralised government policy we were forced to forget our language. I am ashamed of this and still hope, even if only at the end, to speak my dying words in the same language I used to express my first feelings¹"

In 1919 he moved to Madrid, joining the Madrid Symphony Orchestra which performed his Capricho español (1920). His distinctive musical personality was forged by study in Leipzig; and in Berlin, where he preferred Friedrick Koch as composition teacher to Schöenberg, whose theories he disliked. It was in Germany that he made his conducting debut, and the rostrum remained at the centre of his working life.

His Leipzig concert works include the choral Suite vasca (1923); Dos apuntes Vascos (1925) and Symphonic Variations on a Basque Theme (1927); the Siete Lieder, 1929 settings of Heine for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, are perhaps the finest works he produced in Germany. The ballet suite Victoriana (1951); and the powerful Funeral March Gernika for chorus and orchestra (1966) date from his later Madrid days. Two short but powerful compositions for chorus and orchestra, Maite (‘Our Lady’, from the 1946 film Jai-Alai) and ¡Ay, tierra vasca! (1956) retain their place in the hearts of his countrymen.

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:10:22 +0000
Pablo Sorozábal – Katiuska (1958) Pablo Sorozábal – Katiuska (1958)

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1. Todo Es Camino
2. Calor De Nido
3. Cosacos De Kazan
4. Es El Principe!
5. Vivia Sola					play
6. La Mujer Rusa
7. El Reloj De Las Diez Ya Dio
8. Ucraniano De Mi Amor
9. Noche Hermosa
10. Rusita, Rusa Divina				play
11. Duo
12. A Paris Me Voy
13. Final

Katiuska - Pilar Lorengar
Olga - Enriqueta Serrano
Príncipe Sergio - Alfredo Kraus
Pedro Stakoff - Renato Cesari
Bruno Brunovich - Manuel Gas

Coro Cantores de Madrid
Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid
Pablo Sorozábal - conductor, 1958


Katiuska (27th January 1931, Teatro Victoria Barcelona) was Sorozábal's first stage work, but demonstrates all its composer's major strengths. The contemporary Russian theme, as in Millán's El dictador (1923), and near-tragic denouement caused almost as much of a stir as the fact that it took as its hero a Red Commissar torn between love and his Bolshevik duties. The piquant folk-Ukrainian palette of the scoring, with bandurrias masquerading as balalaikas; the jazzy songs for the decadent, aristocratic hangers-on; above all the melodic inspiration of its romantic numbers made this beautiful work an instant classic in the operetta-zarzuela style.

What fewer commentators noticed was the brilliance of the musical architecture. Sorozábal's transformations of original Russian folk material gives his work a symphonic tautness and economy. The ubiquitous Song of the Volga Boatmen turns up in various guises; for example, in the rocking accompaniment to the Prince's lovely Romanza: "Es delicada flor"; and as the melody of Katiuska's radiant nocturne "Noche Hermosa". By these means, the composer produced a work that is musically even more impressive than the sum of its parts. ---


Se trata de una opereta en dos actos, con texto de Emilio González del Castillo y Manuel Martí Alonso, estrenada en 1931 en Barcelona y más tarde, el 11 de mayo de 1932 en Madrid. Fue la primera zarzuela de Pablo Sorozabal (San Sebastián, 1897-1988) y su primer gran éxito. Con toda seguridad hubiera pasado a la historia del género con obras como Don Manolito o Black, el payaso (esta última se pudo ver el pasado verano en el Teatro Español de Madrid, en producción propia, junto con Adiós a la bohemia, en un montaje de bastante calidad, todo hay que decirlo).

El nombre de Sorozábal se mantiene gracias a tres obras de gran importancia: Katiuska, La del manojo de rosas y La tabernera del puerto. Tan seguro estaba él mismo de esto que incluso que en una entrevista cuando le preguntaron si se podía vivir de la música, contestó muy serio: "No, no se puede vivir. Yo he tenido una gran suerte y he podido vivir bien, durante casi toda mi vida, a costa de tres mujeres: Katiuska, La del manojo de rosas y La tabernera del puerto".

Pablo Sorozábal, como casi todos los compositores españoles de aquella época, era muy consciente de que sólo podía vivir del fruto de su trabajo si escribía para el teatro. En España no ha habido nunca una tradición sinfónica como tampoco la ha habido en Italia. Los países latinos son más dados a la escena teatral, y como la aventura de la ópera española, a pesar de sus muchos intentos, no acababa de funcionar se dedicó a escribir zarzuelas o, como en el caso que nos ocupa, operetas.

Así, en Katiuska encontramos una partitura repleta de elementos exóticos y es, a la vez, un producto típico de una época en la que los músicos se veían influenciados por tres grandes corrientes: el dodecafonismo de la segunda escuela de Viena, el verismo italiano y el jazz norteamericano. Normalmente los músicos respondían a uno de esos estilos, si bien algunos autores mezclaron dos o incluso los tres. En este sentido hay que señalar que Sorozábal era ferviente admirador de Puccini, de ahí las influencia veristas de sus partituras, aunque el jazz está presente en la mayoría de las obras del compositor. Sin ir más lejos, en Katiuska hay dos números en el segundo acto que responden a este estilo de música. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Wed, 26 Oct 2011 18:32:29 +0000
Pilar Lorengar & Placido Domingo - Zarzuela Arias & Duets (1990) Pilar Lorengar & Placido Domingo - Zarzuela Arias & Duets (1990)

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1. Amor mi raza sabe conquistar
2. La roca fria del Calvario
3. Di que es verdad que me llamas
4. De España vengo
5. Te quiero, morena
6. De este apacible rincón
7. La boda de Luis Alonso, orquesta
8. Duo y jota
9. Caballero del alto plumero
10. Duo y jota

Pilar Lorengar – soprano
Plácido Domingo – tenor
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Luis A. Garcia Navarro – conductor


This is a very special recording of a zarzuela concert from the 80s with Pilar Lorengar and Placido Domingo, two premier Spanish singers, performing music they obviously love. They sparkle in this CD and it is even better sounding than the original LP. We should especially appreciate Ms. Lorengar since she is no longer with us and she didn't record very much. Domingo is on his own home turf and he shows his delight, as always, in this music that he has known from childhood. Now if we could get on CD the other recordings of zarzuelas he reportedly recorded in Spain in the 90s ... and the earlier one with Teresa Berganza. ---Musette,

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Wed, 25 Aug 2010 23:15:31 +0000
Ruperto Chapi - El Rey Que Rabio (1954) Ruperto Chapi - El Rey Que Rabio (1954)

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1 Viva El Rey
2 La Dimision
3 Soy un Pastor Sencillo
4 !Ay de Mi!
5 Los Segadores
6 Coro. Compañeros venid
7 Coro. Juzgando por los síntomas
8 Terceto. Mi amor, mi bien, mi juicio

El Rey - Lily Berchman
Rosa - Mimí Aznar
General - José Martin
Jeremías - Santiago Ramalle
Intendente - Patricio Tormo
Almirante - Mateo Guitar
Gobernador - Aníbal Vela
Capitán - Eladio Cuevas
Alcalde - Aníbal Vela
Posadero - Patricio Tormo
Lily Berchman
Mimi Aznar
Santiago Ramalle
Anibal Vela
Eladio Cuevas

Coros de Radio Nacional de España
Orquesta de Cámara de Madrid
Daniel Montorio y Enrique Navarro


La zarzuela o cuento fantástico EL REY QUE RABIO se estrenó el 20 de abril de 1891 en el Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, con la polémica previa de una acusación de plagio por parte del semanario Madrid Cómico que no prosperó finalmente. El reparto inicial en los principales papeles fue el siguiente: Almerinda Soler di Franco en el Rey, Encarnación Fabra en Rosa, Sra. Galán en María, Daniel Banquells en el General, Eduardo Bergés “el tenor de Chapí” en Jeremías, Ramón Navarro en el Almirante y en Juan, Sr. Garro en el Intendente, Sr. Suárez en el Gobernador, Sr. Jimeno en un Capitán, y lo que es curioso el Sr. Prieto, actuaba como Lorenzo y “como perro” por ser el encargado de ladrar tras los aldabonazos del “Nocturno”. Cuenta Sagardía que el tal Prieto cobraba como componente del coro y como perro y todas las noches firmaba un recibo que decía así: “Por ladrar en El Rey que Rabió, dos pesetas”. También cuenta que el verdadero “perro actor” del estreno y representaciones sucesivas fue “Bolero” propiedad de Ricardo Ducazcal, hijo del famoso empresario. La obra triunfó plenamente y así lo testimonió Peña y Goñi calificando a Chapí como el Offenbach español. Recientemente comenta Arnau que es EL REY QUE RABIO una obra importante en la que burla burlando el compositor demuestra su experiencia teatral y sus formidables dotes para el teatro lírico. No ha perdido su encanto aunque son dos números, la Romanza de Rosa y el Coro de Doctores los que se siguen interpretando en conciertos y recitales.

En relación con el desarrollo musical, (al decir de “El Libro de la Zarzuela” esta obra es una deliciosa sátira de los malos gobiernos, los malos médicos y los amantes con prejuicios), se inicia con un primer número “Al monarca esperemos” del coro con el Rey (que es interpretado habitualmente por una soprano, salvo en la versión discográfica de EMI/TVE en que canta Luis Sagi-Vela) y las coplas del Rey “Cuando el alma se recrea”. A esta presentación sigue el gracioso cuarteto de la dimisión en forma de polka en la que el texto se muestra como conductor de la melodía. Una hermosa pieza ocupa el tercer lugar de la partitura: un canto bucólico del Rey: “Soy un pastor sencillo”, con comentarios mucho menos interesantes de sus acompañantes. Ocupan el resto del acto, un bien concertado cuarteto de la risa, un dinámico coro “Señor alcalde, señor alcalde” y otro cuarteto en el que el General y Jeremías arropan a Rosa y al Rey y en el que destaca la frase de Rosa “Ni honores ni riquezas”, finalizando el acto con la escena de la recluta “Ahí llega ya la música” con la correspondiente marcha militar.

Ya en el segundo acto la romanza de Rosa “Mi tío se figura”, es introducida por una especie de recitativo al modo de las arias de ópera, después de lo cual llega el célebre número “Yo que siempre de los hombre me reí” con su segundo tema “Ay de mi”. Es una pieza elegante y de lucimiento seguro para una soprano ligera. Ambos temas se repiten y la pieza acaba con un delicado agudo de la protagonista. Continúa el duettino de Rosa y el Rey “Mientras con los reclutas”, en que se condensa mayormente el clasicismo del que hace gala la partitura. Sigue ahora un número de Rosa, el Rey disfrazado y el coro “Alegres segadores” que pasa sin solución de continuidad a la mazurca del ris-ras finalizando con una canción de Rosa “Por entre las mieses”. Se intercala un breve pero poético “Nocturno” antes del frenético raconto de Jeremías “Por Dios, por la Virgen”, que da paso al elaborado quinteto “Buenas noches” y al final del acto.

El acto III se inicia con el coro de pajes “Compañeros venid” para voces femeninas, introducido por unos compases de curiosa instrumentación y que puede ser la pieza más identificable con la zarzuela española de toda la obra. Sigue el número más famoso de la obra; el coro de doctores “Juzgando por los síntomas” que dictamina que “el perro está rabioso o no lo está”, y la música refuerza con su ritmo las doctorales afirmaciones, dándoles un tono de cómica seriedad. Tras una romanza del Rey “Intranquilo estoy” se llega a un inspirado terceto “Mi amor, mi bien, mi dueño” para Rosa y el Rey, con intervenciones aisladas del tenor cómico, en que hacia el final se acelera el ritmo dándole carácter de pieza de opereta. Sigue la escena de las embajadas “Dios ilumine al soberano” que ofrece al compositor la oportunidad de presentar un escaparate de danzas: escocesa, italiana y rusa y que antecede al final de la obra con la repetición del tema “Viva el Rey”. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Thu, 03 Mar 2011 19:50:48 +0000
Tomás Bretón - La Verbena de la Paloma (1994) Tomás Bretón - La Verbena de la Paloma (1994)

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2.Escena (El aceite de ricino)
3.Romanza de Julian play
4.Escena y Seguidillas
5.Coplas de Don Hilarion play
7.Escena (Buena esta la puli’tica)
8.Escena (Ya estas frente a la casa)
10.Escena y Habanera (Ya estan aqui)

Susana - Ángeles Chamorro
Julián - Alfredo Kraus
La Seña Rita - Inés Rivadeneira
Casta - Alicia Armentía
Don Hilarión - Antonio Campo
La Cantaora - Marisa Mora
La tía Antonia - Luisa (Luisita) de Córdoba
Chula/Mozo 1 - Adelardo Curros
Chula/Mozo 2 - Adolfo Robles
Don Sebastián - Eduardo Fuentes
El tabernero - Fernando Martínez
Portero - Antonio Ramallo

Orquesta Manuel de Falla
Cantores de Madrid
Enrique García Asensio, 1972


A verbena is a popular Madrid festival, with dancing and fair attractions, drinks and food. All the verbenas are related to a religious festival, so the title of this piece refers to that of the Paloma, an image of the Virgin of Solitude. But this is not a religious work, it is one of the best know zarzuelas by the Spanish composer Tomas Breton. Breton composed many other works (and other zarzuelas) but it is with this work that his name is most often associated.

‘La Verbena de la Paloma’ is a zarzuela of the type known as genero chico, a one act comedy which could contain as much or as little music as was necessary. Some of these one act comedies had virtually no music, or just one musical piece which could be omitted if the theatre had no orchestra. The more complicated ones are effectively short comic operas, and this is the case here where ‘La Verbena de la Paloma’ (one of the most complicated works in this genre) contains 12 substantial musical numbers. It is also full of the most curious characters. Where else do you get a typesetter hero and a randy, elderly chemist?

The action of the opera takes place on the night of the Virgin of the Paloma, August the 14th. Julian is a young typesetter who works in a printing house. He is in love with Susana, but very jealous which makes Susana suffer so she decides to get back at him. Susana lives with her sister Casta and their aunt, Antonia (an unpleasant woman). The nearby chemist, Don Hilarion is a randy old man who protects the two sisters (and flirts with them). Next to the chemists is the tavern whose owner is married to Rita, Julian’s godmother who advises him to leave Susana. Julian is always complaining and he threatens to make a scene if his jealousy of Susana is found to be justified.

Breton makes a great virtue of this feature and there are very few real solos. All the action takes places in the context of the neighbourhood and solos develop into ensembles or have activity in the background. This gives the music a real ensemble feel and it needs a good ensemble cast to bring it off. Here, the opera is sung by a group of Spanish singers who sound as if they have been singing Zarzuela all their life, and they probably have. ---Robert Hugill,

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]]> (bluesever) Zarzuela Sat, 23 Oct 2010 16:45:51 +0000