Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas

Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas

by Malcolm Sargent

CD

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Overview

Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas

Malcolm Sargent began serving as an accompanist for amateur productions of Gilbert & Sullivan when he was 14, was musical director for the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1926 to 1928, and made complete recordings of several of the operettas with the company, so he clearly had the Gilbert & Sullivan tradition in his blood. During the late '50s and early '60s he recorded nine of the operettas (without the dialogue) with the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and the Pro Arte Orchestra using regular Glyndebourne soloists, including sopranos Elsie Morison and Heather Harper, contraltos Monica Sinclair and Marjorie Thomas, tenors Richard Lewis and Alexander Young, baritones John Cameron and George Baker, and bass Owen Brannigan. Each of Sargent's Glyndebourne versions of the operettas has been released individually, plus smaller works by Sullivan to fill out the discs, and this compilation includes all the previous releases. These performances under Sargent's leadership are uniformly at a musically high level, models of precise and nuanced playing and singing. They vary, though, in the extent to which they convey the element of fun that's essential to make Gilbert & Sullivan really sparkle. Some versions are absolutely stellar; the performances of "H.M.S. Pinafore," and especially "Trial by Jury," are easily in contention for the finest recorded versions, musically immaculate, scintillating, and wildly funny. At the other end of the spectrum is a humdrum performance of "Patience," in which only Sinclair and Baker seem to be having any fun at all. Among the more consistently satisfying performances are "The Pirates of Penzance," "Iolanthe," "Ruddigore," and "Yeomen of the Guard," which are spirited and zesty, for the most part. "The Mikado" and "The Gondoliers" are somewhat less effective, although the orchestra and chorus are consistently excellent. Another factor in the impact of the performances is the vocal quality of the soloists. Morison is cast in the ingénue role in all of the operettas, but except for "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Trial by Jury," she sounds too mature for the parts. Lewis is frequently the heroic lead, but he tends to sound thin and strained more often than heroic. Several troopers can be counted on to excel wherever they are cast, particularly Sinclair, Brannigan, Cameron, and Baker, who are in fine voice and are exceptional comedians. The short works included as filler -- overtures to other Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and Sullivan's "serious," concert works -- don't contribute much to the compilation. Most feature conductors other than Sargent, and the performances range from fine to decidedly mediocre. Overall, though, the musical quality of Sargent's performances makes this a collection that should be of interest to any serious fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, and there are some complete works and individual performances that are genuinely transcendent.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/20/2001
Label: Emi Classics
UPC: 0724357446822
catalogNumber: 74468

Tracks

  1. H. M. S. Pinafore (The Lass that Loved a Sailor), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Richard Lewis  - James Milligan  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - George Baker
  2. Trial by Jury, operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Richard Lewis  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Bernard Turgeon  - George Baker
  3. The Pirates of Penzance, operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Heather Harper  - Richard Lewis  - James Milligan  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - George Baker
  4. The Sorcerer, operetta: Overture : The Sorcerer  - Arthur Sullivan  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent
  5. Cox and Box (The Long-Lost Brothers), operetta: Overture : Cox and Box  - Arthur Sullivan  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent
  6. Princess Ida (Castle Adamant), operetta: Overture : Princess Ida  - Arthur Sullivan  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent
  7. Overture (In Memoriam), for orchestra in C major: Overture in C (In memoriam)  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  8. Patience (Bunthorne's Bride), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - John Cameron  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Heather Harper  - Elizabeth Harwood  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - John Shaw  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - Alexander Young  - Trevor Anthony  - George Baker
  9. Symphony in E major (Irish), for orchestra  - Arthur Sullivan  - Charles Groves  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  10. Iolanthe (The Peer and the Peri), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - April Cantelo  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Heather Harper  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - Alexander Young  - George Baker  -  Ian Wallace
  11. Overture di ballo, for orchestra in E major: BBC Symphony Orchestra  - Arthur Sullivan  -  BBC Symphony Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent
  12. The Mikado (The Town of Titipu), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - Geraint Evans  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Richard Lewis  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Jeannette Sinclair  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  -  Ian Wallace
  13. Ruddigore (The Witch's Curse), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Harold Blackburn  - Pamela Bowden  - Owen Brannigan  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Elizabeth Harwood  - Richard Lewis  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Joseph Rouleau  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - George Baker
  14. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: I: Introduction  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  15. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: IV: Prelude Act III  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  16. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: VI: Banquet Dance  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  17. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: VII: Overture Act IV  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  18. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: X: Dance of the Nymphs and Reapers  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  19. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: XI: Prelude Act V  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  20. The Tempest, incidental music, Op. 1: XIIc: Epilogue  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  21. The Merchant of Venice, incidental music  - Arthur Sullivan  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Vivian Dunn
  22. The Yeomen of the Guard (The Merryman and his Maid), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - Owen Brannigan  - John Cameron  - John Carol Case  - Denis Dowling  - Geraint Evans  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  -  Doreen Hume  - Richard Lewis  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - Alexander Young
  23. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta  - Arthur Sullivan  - John Cameron  - Geraint Evans  - Peter Gellhorn  - William Schwenk Gilbert  -  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus  - Edna Graham  - Stella Hitchens  - Richard Lewis  - James Milligan  - Elsie Morison  -  Pro Arte Orchestra  - Lavinia Renton  - Malcolm Sargent  - Monica Sinclair  - Marjorie Thomas  - Helen Watts  - Alexander Young
  24. Cello Concerto (orchestral part lost; reconstructed by C. Mackerras and D. Mackie)  - Arthur Sullivan  - Julian Lloyd Webber  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Charles Mackerras

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