Zarzuelas-The Passion of Spain
Spain's school of musical theatre offers not only a fund of rhythm and melody to match anything in French and Viennese operetta, but a depth and passion to be found in neither. With the likes of Carreras, Domingo, Kraus, Berganza, Caballe, de los Angeles and Lorengar as advocates, it is a mystery why its delights are not better known.
In truth, Carreras never seems as fully at home as Domingo and Kraus in a repertory that demands more than his lighter tenor can readily encompass. Carreras's zarzuela performances never quite thrill in the way that Dommgo's and Kraus's always do. Here, indeed, he sounds as much at home as anywhere in the buffo role of Lamparilla in Barbieri's El Barberillo de Lavapies. Yet this second Carreras zarzuela recital is still much to be welcomed—not least for the way its varied programme avoids any duplications of his first of 17 years ago (Philips, 10/79). Perico's delightful serenade to his guitar (a number that Carreras has recorded separately—in 1980) is a particular delight, while the flamencotinged farewell to Granada from Emigrantes and the more personal farewell from Sangre de Reyes take us into relatively neglected repertory once favoured by the likes of Miguel Fleta and Tito Schipa.
The soprano Isabel Rey joins in in three duets including the passionate scene from El Gato Montes to which Domingo recently introduced us (DG, 9/92) and the duet of operatic intrigue from Caballero's El Duo de la Africana. Her two solos including a delightfully agile version of a polonaise that Caballe has also recorded, are as good as anything in the collection.'