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Albeniz: Pepita Jimenez / Domingo, Eusebio

Release Date: 11/14/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000747202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Carol VanessPlacido DomingoCarlos ChaussonJane Henschel,   ... 
Conductor:  José De Eusebio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Community ChorusMadrid Community Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 31 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This album was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for "Best Opera Recording."


Than this more strange they scarce do come. That homely sentiment, with syntax influenced by the extraordinary English libretto, might be a natural first reaction to this otherwise very Spanish opera. Readers will not come to it utterly unprepared. Merlin and Henry Clifford have preceded it in the CD catalogues, both of them products of this collaboration between Albéniz and his English patron Francis Burdett Money-Coutts. Pepita Jiménez is based on a novel of provincial Spanish life by Juan Valera, more home-grown to Albéniz than to MoneyCourts who, it must be said, wrote a brand of
Read more English all his own irrespective of time or place.

The peculiarity of the English is not the only oddity. It seems that throughout the opera's long-interrupted history it has been a matter of opinion as to whether the heroine lives or dies at the end, and whether, if living, she is united with young Don Luis in a conventional happy ending (and if so, is it truly happy, in that he will have had to renounce his intentions of entering the Church?). I think I know the answer to that one (the music tells us), but am puzzled by Act 1 ending with Luis going off to fight a duel of which nothing more appears to come in Act 2. There is also a musical anomaly: Act I is mostly loud and restless, Act 2 slower and more gentle. I much prefer Act 2.

The recording, like its predecessors, is conducted by José De Eusebio, to whom in large measure it owes its existence. He has edited the score, based on the revised version of 1905, nine years after the Barcelona premiere. As with Merlin, he has the support of Plácido Domingo, in fine voice and singing with conviction. Carol Vaness no longer has the freshness or firmness of voice to do full justice to the heroine's music but gives unstintingly and effectively. In the important role of the maid, Antoñona, Jane Henschel brings strong character and a sturdy voice. All have difficulty from time to time in getting their words across, partly because clear enunciation does not always ensure clarity, partly because the orchestra sometimes overwhelms. The "spectacularly beautiful and successful orchestration" is an aspect of the score which Eusebio has been most determined to demonstrate. He also claims "objective criteria and emotional sincerity"; to both of which, as Money-Courts might put it, he shall have no gainsaying from me.

-- John Steane, Gramophone [Awards Issue, 2006]
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Works on This Recording

Pepita Jiménez by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Carol Vaness (Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor), Carlos Chausson (Bass Baritone),
Jane Henschel (Mezzo Soprano), José Antonio Lopez (Baritone), Federico Gallar (Tenor),
Angel Rodriguez (Baritone), Enrique Baquerizo (Baritone)
Conductor:  José De Eusebio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Community Chorus,  Madrid Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Spain 
Venue:  Teatro Bulevar, Torrelodones, Madrid 
Length: 90 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
Notes: Teatro Bulevar, Torrelodones, Madrid (07/2004); 06/2005 

Sound Samples

Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Donna Pepita! Pepita
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Pepita loves my Luis?
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Who eats a sour banana
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: He promised her to learn to ride
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: You've pulled the blind
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: So, here's the shrine
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Ssh! Pepita!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Don Pedro! Always handy!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Come, come my little acolyte
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Dance, dance, little darlings
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Far better live on acolyte
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Well, have you said good-bye
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Thank you, my friends!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: My child, your hand is cold
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Forgive me! 'Tis best I retire, to rest
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Do you remember, one day
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Interlude
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Yet take courage!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Love moves by night!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Holy marriage!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Allegretto come prima. Love moves by night
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Ah, no! He loves Pepita!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Oh! Luis, this last sad meeting
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: And I'm so wicked
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: To gather sweet flowers
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Sweet friend! No earthly union
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Your words serene
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Farewell, my child!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: My God! I cannot bear it!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: This is the way with your drone
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: The rev'rend father has admonished me!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Ah! Mother of sorrows
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: I've come to bid farewell
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Away into the wilderness!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: This really is outrageaous!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: The devil take your consolation!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: I cannot do your pleasure!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Take heart!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: O, 'Tona, you're a prophet!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: Yes, Pepita's very sly
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: When but sixteen, Pepita
Pepita Jiménez / Act 1: I've come to beg your pardon
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Prelude
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: All is ready!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: 'Tona! How gladly
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Heigh-ho! Who preaches love
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Who teaches love was made accurs'd
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Pepita! - Sweet lady!
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Yes, by their innocence
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Born into common humility
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 1: Ballet
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Go! Bear my latest breath
Pepita Jiménez / Act 2 / Tableau 2: Farewell! Farewell!

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Off the beaten path. October 3, 2012 By Keith Messersmith (Ashland, PA) See All My Reviews "After 50 years of complete opera collecting, I am at the stage where I like something I have never heard before. This opera fills the bill, and such an enjoyable experience. I have both the Henry Clifford, and the Merlin recordings, and I have to agree that this is Albeniz' masterpiece. A spanish masterpiece. Not very long, and very tuneful. Congratulations to everyone for making these three recordings available, and to Domingo for his invaluable star power." Report Abuse
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