Gilbert & Sullivan: The Gondoliers / D'Oyly Carte Opera

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It's...over 14 since the previous Gondoliers. Of recordings currently available (conducted by Isidore Godfrey on Decca) or due for early reissue (the Glyndebourne performances under Sargent on EMI), none is less than 30 years old. The most obvious attraction of [this release], then, is a vastly superior quality of sound, offering a welcome clarity, spaciousness and lack of tape hiss. Orchestral detail is the most immediate beneficiary, and...also serve to demonstrate John Pryce-Jones's lively tempos and lightness of touch—both notably lacking from Sir Malcolm Sargent in EMI's Gondoliers. Among the singers in the new recordings, I particularly liked John Rath, Don Alhambra's "I stole the prince" and "There lived a king" real character. I would also commend Jill Pert, a slightly lightweight but nevertheless...formidable Duchess of Plaza-Toro. Moreover, Richard Suart not only provides the leading comedy [role] with the same clear articulation as in the new Telarc Mikado, but is here allowed to add far more character to his [portrayal]... and "I am a courtier grave and serious" is a winner.

David Fieldsend and Alan Oke provide attractive portrayals... The leading soprano and soubrette roles are likewise agreeably enough done here without quite matching up to what has gone before... In The Gondoliers, seasoned listeners will note numerous changes of detail as a result of the purging of the performance material of changes made to the parts around the time of the 1920s Savoy Theatre revivals... Overall, among recordings without dialogue, I'd probably stick with EMI's lolanthe, but I'd certainly go for this new Gondoliers.

-- Gramophone [5/1992]
reviewing the original release of this recording, TER 1187

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: SONY 58895

  • UPC: 074645889528

  • Label: Sony

  • Composer: Arthur Sullivan

  • Conductor: John Pryce-Jones

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra

  • Performer: Alan Oke, Claire Kelly, David Cavendish, David Fieldsend, Elizabeth Elliot, Elizabeth Woollett, Gareth Vaughan, Jill Pert, John Rath, Lesley Echo Ross, Pamela Baxter, Philip Creasy, Regina Hanley, Richard Suart, Tim Morgan, Toby Barrett, Yvonne Patrick