Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore; Trial By Jury

Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore; Trial By Jury

by Malcolm Sargent
     
 
Malcolm Sargent recorded nine Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in productions based on performances at the Glyndebourne Festival in the late '50s and early '60s, and this version of "H.M.S. Pinafore" is among his most successful efforts. Sargent's reading is notable for its typically nuanced attention to details of the

Overview

Malcolm Sargent recorded nine Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in productions based on performances at the Glyndebourne Festival in the late '50s and early '60s, and this version of "H.M.S. Pinafore" is among his most successful efforts. Sargent's reading is notable for its typically nuanced attention to details of the score, and the performances by his soloists here are especially strong. The romantic leads in particular are more convincing than in many of the other recordings in the series. As Josephine, Elsie Morison sounds fresher and more the innocent ingénue than in some of her other Gilbert and Sullivan roles; her tone is clean and bright and her performance is completely convincing. Richard Lewis brings more of a heroic timbre and bearing to Ralph Rackstraw than he does to many of his other romantic leading roles. Monica Sinclair is impressive as an amusingly stalwart Buttercup. The other male leads -- John Cameron as Captain Corcoran, George Baker as Joseph Porter, and Owen Brannigan as Dick Deadeye -- are all in strong voice and each has a fine sense of comic timing. The entire cast seems to be having a wonderful time, and it's the infectious fun combined with the unusually high musical standards that make this a standout version of the opera. "Pinafore" is paired with an absolutely fabulous performance of "Trial by Jury" that features the same cast (but without Sinclair), and the singers are up to the same high standards. The recording of "Trial by Jury" is in a class by itself among Sargent's Glyndebourne releases because of its strong feeling of theatrical realism. This is due to the fact that director Colin Graham was called in to "stage" the opera for the recording, and the result is hilarious. Graham had the singers move around the studio, creating a convincing sense of theatrical space. He also encouraged the cast (including the chorus) to let loose dramatically with an appropriate level of hamminess. Many of Sargent's other Gilbert and Sullivan recordings, despite their musical excellence, are unnecessarily sober, but with Graham unleashing the operetta's silliness, the effect here is magically giddy. This pairing of "Pinafore" and "Trial by Jury" is easily the strongest installment in EMI's reissues of Sargent's series, and both of the performances are in strong contention as the most compelling recorded version.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/08/2008
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099921343322
catalogNumber:
13433

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. H. M. S. Pinafore (The Lass that Loved a Sailor), operetta
  2. Trial by Jury, operetta

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