FALLA The Three-Cornered Hat: Suite No. 2

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From Gramopnone Magazine By March Rochester

FALLA: The Three-Cornered Hat: Suite No. 2. La vida breve: Interlude and Dance. Nights In the Gardens of Spain': Luis Herrera de la Fuente conducting the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra; Jorge Federico Osorio, piano: O.M. RECORDS [DDD]; 40:35. Produced by Jonathan Wearn. (Distributed by Albany.)

I am sure that these are the same performances that appeared on a Vox Cum Laude LP (D-VCL 9047). The technical information on the CD and the LP is complementary. From the former, we learn what kind of equipment was used and where. From the latter, we learn the names of the personnel involved in the production and the year of recording (1982). Do not be deceived by O.M.'s copyright of 1988.

When I reviewed the Vox LP in Fanfare 7:5, 1 could not help reporting that the brass were occasionally rather too loud and the strings on the thin side. Those minor objections remain, but they are minor because Herrera de la Fuentes performances are so well calculated and sensitive for all their roughness. Although I disagree with a few interpretive details, I think this is an outstanding Nights in the Gardens of Spain- "crude but effective" as I reported back in 1984; and, although the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra ("located above cloud level in the beautiful city of Xalapa") will never be mistaken for the Cleveland Orchestra (supply your own blurb so I won't get nasty letters), the performances of the other Falla pieces are sensible as well as sensitive.

The LP actually seemed overloaded a few times, which wasn't the case with the CD which reveals a few more conductor grunts. The mikes seem close to the orchestra but one hears almost everything that's going on, quite a compensation. The total timing of 40:35 was less of a problem on the LP. If that isn't a problem to you, consider this CD of disceming performances recommended.

James Muler

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