- La Vida breve, opera, G. 35/39 (2 versions)
Falla: La Vida Breveby Manuel de Falla
Telarc has likely done well for itself by releasing this 1992 recording of Falla's "La vida breve" (Life Is Short) in its budget-price line. The two most celebrated modern performances of the work -- the EMI disc with Victoria de los Angeles and Carlo Cossutta as star-crossed lovers Salud and Paco and the Deutsche Grammphon version with Teresa Berganza and José Carreras -- are both unavailable, and this swift, passionate product of the young Falla's pen has long made a good way into the world of opera for young people interested in Latin culture. This release offered the only opera recorded by Jesús López-Cobos during his long tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony, and "La vida breve," with its flamenco episodes and intense orchestral colors, was a good choice for showcasing this conductor's facility with the great Spanish classics. The sound, while not the equal of Telarc' recent spectaculars, has a big, spacious quality that catches every detail López-Cobos carves out. The Argentine soprano Alicia Nafé is admittedly no de los Angeles or Berganza, but she fits well into the role of the enamored but deluded Salud, and the other performers are equally capable. The flamenco passages, including the often-extracted Spanish Dances, have, oddly enough, been done with more zip elsewhere, but among the few available versions of "La vida breve" this may well be the one to pick. And for newcomers to classical music curious about the whole opera phenomenon, invest ten dollars and an hour of concentrated listening into this Spanish love story and you'll be on your way.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsManuel de Falla Primary Artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews