Search - Arthur Sullivan, Sir Vivian Dunn, Peter Gellhorn :: Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance
Arthur Sullivan, Sir Vivian Dunn, Peter Gellhorn
Pirates of Penzance
Genres: Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #2


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A slightly better entry in the Sargent Glyndebourne series
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 02/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This recording of PIRATES wsa made when Sargent was underway with his EMI Glyndebourne series. By this time a few recordings had been made, and George Baker had replaced Geraint Evans as patter baritone. Somehow or other, this recording is one of the better entries in the series, because Sargent's tendency for funerially slow tempi is a little bit less evident here. As always, the cast of grand opera singers give superb musical values, and EMI provides one of their best early stereo recordings.Baker's portrayal of Major-General Stanley shows him maintaining his touch with G&S. He recorded the role before, but even though this recording does not show him at his finest (he was approaching eighty years old) it still shows his artistic distinction with adequate diction. Richard Lewis, as always, sings with a refined tone as Frederic, but the lyrical edge is somewhat missing here and in Elsie Morrison's Mabel, even though they send shivers down the spine with their "Ah, leave me not to pine" duet. The rest of the cast is adequate, if slightly unacceptable, because James Milligan lacks the villainy that typefies the ideal character of the Pirate King, John Cameron makes the most of his portrayal of Samuel, as does Monica Sinclair as Ruth. But Owen Brannigan's oolid Sergeant of Police makes up for it, for he has had experience in distinguishing his portrayal from performing it regularly. He made much of an impression for D'Oyly Carte to invite him in joining them in their cherishble 1968 recording. The alert and well-disciplined choral singing is well up to standard, and the orchestral playing crisp.While this PIRATES is reasonably good, the abundance of superb PIRATES recordings (including D'Oyly Carte's 1968 effort with complete dialogue, and the indispensible Mackerras recording on Telarc) prevent this recording from being anybody's first choice. It can only be recommended to those who admire Sergeant, or to those who are extremely curious."
Boring | Melbourne, Australia | 07/01/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)

"It is one of the eternal mysteries to me that D'Oyly Carte managed to gain a reputation for being stodgy and conservative; compared with Sargent's EMI recordings they are liveliness itself.The cast is at best fair in this very dull recording. None of them seem to have the faintest idea of what they are singing about, but at least they make some nice sounds. Sargent though is much, much too slow and drags everything down to an oratorio like solemnity.Its recordings like this that give G&S a bad name."