Angel Gil-Ordóñez / Perspectives Ensemble

Falla: El amor brujo; El retablo de Maese Pedro

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AllMusic Review by

Manuel de Falla's El amor brujo is unique in that it has very rarely been performed or recorded in its original version, which remained unpublished after Falla found success with revisions that substantially changed the work. It was reconstructed in the 1980s from Falla's manuscripts, and it's quite a revelation: El amor brujo was originally a mostly vocal work whose Gypsy component was accordingly stronger. The 1915 version has been recorded before, but it gets what may be a definitive performance here by the New York-area group, Perspectives Ensemble, under Angel Gil-Ordóñez, with Cantaora singer Esperanza Fernández. She's a full-throated singer in the flamenco mold, and the story of a Gypsy girl trying to escape her lover's ghost suddenly becomes not a mood setting, but a real dramatic tale. Sample one of Fernández's pieces, such as the Canción del fuego fatuo from Act II, and you may be immediately hooked. Other attractions include the spare sound of Perspectives Ensemble, especially sharp in the small and more Stravinsky-like little opera El retablo de Maese Pedro, from eight years later. A real sleeper from Naxos that alters perceptions of a major work with powerful performances.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
El amor brujo (Love, the Magician)
1 02:39 Amazon
2 01:39 Amazon
3 01:03 Amazon
4 04:03 Amazon
5 01:08 Amazon
6 02:21 Amazon
7 04:51 Amazon
8 00:59 Amazon
9 01:16 Amazon
10 01:54 Amazon
11 02:05 Amazon
12 02:14 Amazon
13 02:48 Amazon
14 01:01 Amazon
15 03:33 Amazon
16 01:45 Amazon
El retablo de Maese Pedro (Master Peter's Puppet Show)
17 00:56 Amazon
18 03:17 Amazon
19 02:10 Amazon
20 03:06 Amazon
21 03:17 Amazon
22 01:26 Amazon
23 04:38 Amazon
24 01:51 Amazon
25 00:33 Amazon
26 05:13 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick