Notes and Editorial Reviews
This 45 minutes (all the spoken dialog is omitted) of Tomas Breton's 1894 zarzuela is a sheer delight, beautifully performed. It's a wonderfully flavorful work that evokes Madrid street life when Madrid was younger; this is a true picture of a neighborhood. There is a rousing overture, flamenco singing, a honky-tonk-like piano solo, a mazurka in the form of a duet for violin and piano, a few nice, meaty songs, an evocative "nocturne", a great quintet, and a big finale. The tunes come one after the other.
This 1994 recording finds Placido Domingo in fine voice as the ardent, jealous typesetter; Maria Bayo is at her most charming as the flirty object of his desire; Rafael Castejon paints a weird, goofy portrait of a lecherous, though buffo-like, 70-year-old; and, having nothing to do with the plot, Milagros Martin almost walks away with the show as a moody singer. The leadership is zippy and infused with great rhythm, and the recording is a stunner. Interested in this odd, Spanish form? Here's a great beginning.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com