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Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
John Cameron, Geraint Evans, Ian Wallace
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2


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Three problems here
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 09/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There are three problems with this MIKADO. (1)The Ko-Ko is very well sung but badly miscast in that the voice is far too heavy and serious for the role. (2) The Pooh-Bah is far too light-voiced for a role that calls for a basso-profundo. (3) The relatively short score is spread across 2 CDs with nary a filler to make it more attractive economically. Telarc fits the entire score (minus the overture and a stanza of the Little List Song) onto a single CD, while another EMI version gives a generous helping of IOLANTHE to fill up the second disc. A very fine cast otherwise with operatic voices that do not at all hurt Sullivan's music. Sound is of course state of art for back then, not now."
Likely to please Sullivan more than Gilbert.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 04/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the "Mikado" to go for if you want to savour the beauty, felicity and finesse of Sullivan's music. If you want a full theatrical production reproduced from your loud speakers, then look elsewhere.It is the first of a series of recordings of G & S operas produced in the late 1950s and early 1960s by EMI. Sir Malcolm Sargent, engaged for a similar recording venture 30 years earlier, was again engaged as conductor. The singers (two of them Australians) were selected because they could sing, not because they could act or had previous experience in G & S live productions. The result? Well, it always pleases me, and I suspect it would please Sullivan too. Sargent's tempos tend to be slower than is customary, but are never leaden-footed. Richard Lewis, from his opening question, proclaims himself as the lyrical, mellifluous tenor you'll want to keep singing to you forever (even if he becomes the next Mikado). Owen Brannigan has a high old time as the present Mikado. Elsie Morison is especially fine at the beginning of Act 2, as is Monica Sinclair in her duet with Ko-Ko. It is a pleasure to hear even the bit parts sung rather than mouthed. Gilbert may not have valued singers who can sing, but if you do, and you are aware that Sullivan's music repays worthy attention, then this is the "Mikado" for you."
Fun lost? I don't think so.
Donald C. Allen | Carlisle, MA USA | 12/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I would like to take issue with those who feel that the tempi Sargent adopts in this recording destroy the Mikado-fun. I disagree. First of all, the singing on this recording is simply first rate (e.g., Elsie Morison's "We really know our worth, the sun and I" is heartbreakingly beautiful). Secondly, the tempi (and the good recording quality, especially considering when it was made) allow every word to be heard and understood, frequently a problem with high-speed Mikados (the whole thing isn't a patter-song, after all). Thirdly, Malcolm Sargent was a great conductor who knew what he was doing (I love his Messiah beyond all others). This Mikado is beautifully paced, beautifully phrased, and rhythmically precise and spirited when necessary without being too fast. Going back to the fun, I suggest that anyone who thinks it's been lost listen to the Mikado's "Let the punishment fit the crime" and then we'll talk :-) I'm sure it won't come as a surprise that I highly recommend this recording."