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Gilbert & Sullivan: Mikado Highlights / Godfrey, et al


Release Date: 04/28/1997 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4613282   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Thomas RoundAlan StylerPeter PrattBeryl Dixon,   ... 
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Works on This Recording

1. Mikado: Overture by Arthur Sullivan
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
2. Mikado: If you want to know who we are by Arthur Sullivan
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
3. Mikado: A wandering minstrel I by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Thomas Round (Tenor)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
4. Mikado: Our great Mikado, virtuous man by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Alan Styler (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
5. Mikado: Behold the Lord High Executioner by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Peter Pratt (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
6. Mikado: As some day it might happen "List Song" by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Peter Pratt (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
7. Mikado: Three little maids from school by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Beryl Dixon (Mezzo Soprano), Jennifer Toye (Soprano), Jean Hindmarsh (Soprano)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
8. Mikado: For he's gone and married Yum-Yum by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Beryl Dixon (Mezzo Soprano), Thomas Round (Tenor), Ann Drummond-Grant (Mezzo Soprano),
Jean Hindmarsh (Soprano)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
9. Mikado: Braid the raven hair by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Beryl Dixon (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
10. Mikado: The sun whose rays are all ablaze by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Jean Hindmarsh (Soprano)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
11. Mikado: A more humane Mikado by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Donald Adams (Bass)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
12. Mikado: The flowers that bloom in the spring by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Thomas Round (Tenor), Peter Pratt (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
13. Mikado: On a tree by a river a little tom-tit "Tit Willow" by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Peter Pratt (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
14. Mikado: There is beauty in the bellow of the blast by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Ann Drummond-Grant (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Pratt (Baritone)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 
15. Mikado: For he's gone and married Yum-Yum by Arthur Sullivan
Performer:  Beryl Dixon (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Pratt (Baritone), Thomas Round (Tenor),
Jean Hindmarsh (Soprano)
Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 One of the great "Mikados;" but skimpy "highlight May 30, 2012 By Gerald T. Hawhee (Cantril, IA) See All My Reviews "I was pleased to see the partial re-issue of this splendid performance, as I had owned a well-worn highlights LP (London OS 25903) back in the 70s when I was a college student. Isidore Godfrey’s 1958 reading of “The Mikado” has an irresistible lightness to it, a delicious sense of sparkle and panache. But what truly sets this performance apart is the casting; the D’Oyly Carte Company in one of its most fortuitous iterations—with some genuinely well-honed comic chops, and first- rate musical chemistry. Donald Adams lends just the right amount of satiric weight to the Mikado, Ann Drummond-Grant is inimitably wonderful as Katisha—the ultimate G&S “battle-axe alto;” and Peter Pratt, though less-well-known for his portrayal of Ko-Ko is memorable for the delightful nervous energy he brings to the part. The rest of the cast is first-rate as well, with Thomas Round an earnest and passionate Nanki-Poo, Kenneth Sanford an endearingly pompous Poo-Bah, and Jean Hindmarsh a most alluring Yum-Yum.

All fine and good as far as the performance itself goes. The problem is, somebody at Australian Decca didn’t seem to grasp the concept of a highlights compilation. This album may be less notable for what it includes than for all that has been left out. In fact, at an anachronistically scant 49:31, there’s less music on this CD than on that old LP of mine! And the omissions aren’t minor or trivial. Where, for instance, is “Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted,” one of the true comic delights of this performance? Where is the virtuosic ensemble patter of “I am so proud?” What about Drummond-Grant’s wonderfully biting turn in “From ev’ry kind of man Obedience I expect?” For that matter, what could possibly justify the exclusion of Thomas Round’s recitative “Gentlemen, I pray you tell me,” which, though only about 30 seconds long, is an essential prologue to “A wand’ring minstrel, I,” and makes that most familiar and famous of G&S arias seem jarringly incomplete in its absence?

You may safely conclude that I am not happy—especially given the available alternatives. Over the years, Decca has aggressively hawked the decidedly inferior 1973 Royston Nash performance, issuing it under at least three covers in addition to inclusion in the recent “Gilbert and Sullivan Collection” box set. Why, aside from somewhat better recorded sound, should this be the case? All one need do is hear Nash’s simultaneously rushed AND ham-handed reading of “Three Little Maids From School” (which brings to mind more a trio of lunch ladies) and the pathetically subpar warblings of Lyndsie Holland as Katisha, to wish for better. The fact that better has always been available, albeit languishing in the silent obscurity of Decca’s vaults, is a true shame, and ought to be a source of embarrassment for such a prestigious label.

In summary; while I love Godfrey’s performance, and am happy to have at least part of it on CD, I am reluctant to recommend this particular set of “highlights.” May we, instead, entertain hope for a decently-re-mastered re-issue of the complete 1958 performance sometime soon?
"
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