Falla Sombrero de tres picos; El amor brujo

Author: 
Edward Greenfield

Falla Sombrero de tres picos; El amor brujo

  • (El) Sombrero de tres picos, 'Three-cornered Hat'
  • (El) Amor Brujo

This, I predict, will stand alongside Dutoit's version of Daphnis et Chloe (so much sought after that it is perpetually going out of stock in its CD version—400 055-2, 3/83) as a favourite demonstration disc. The sound is, if anything, even more sumptuously atmospheric, combining the richness of that first of Dutoit's Ravel issues with the extra clarity of his collection of that composer's showpieces now also on CD (see page 245). Superb as the LP and cassette versions are, CD gives an extra sense of presence. In direct comparisons you may for a moment think the sound identical—and I have heard very few LPs to match this Decca issue—but then you note the extra ability the ear has to analyse the often exotic instrumental textures—to hear clearly the muttered guitar-like tremelos in the first part of ''Pantomime'' in El amor brujo for example, or the subtle comments on the piano in the final section following. As with LP and cassette it remains a minor criticism that the separate movements of El amor brujo (unlike those in El sombrero de tres picos) are not specifically listed, though in both ballets full texts of the vocal sections are provided. Voices come out with special immediacy, so that at the start of El sombrero the trumpet, the timpani, the male shouts of ''Ole!'' and the seductively distanced voice of Colette Boky together have the scalp prickling in their sense of presence and reality. It is an advantage on CD avoiding a break in the middle of the second half of the longer ballet, but Decca still seems reluctant to insert more than the most basic bands in continuous music. Here one surely ought to have bands inserted before the ''Miller's Dance'' and ''Final Dance'' in El sombrero and (most obviously of all) before the ''Ritual Fire Dance'' in El amor brujo.'

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