Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Prince Consort Edinburgh|
Arthur Sullivan: Haddon Hall
Listen to Samples
Do not hesitate!
Brett Farrell | Cape May, NJ USA | 11/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had known of this recording for many years but been hesitant to buy it for one very important reason. Everything I had so far that was preformed by the Prince Consort group had been of very poor recording quality. I am a huge fan of Arthur Sullivans for it was his music that brought me to love first operetta and then opera so at one time I had decided to get all of his available works on CD. After the obvious works of his and Gilberts I moved on to his lesser know works like 'The Beauty Stone' and the 'The Emeral Isle' both done by the Prince Consort group but recorded I believe live on the Pearl label. Both were of such very poor sound quality I can not enjoy the CDs so I stayed away from this even though it was done on a different label.
Recently I decided to give it a try anyway since the price had finally dropped from about $40 to $20. Now I'm only sorry I didn't buy this earlier. The sound quality is of a studio quality and its nice to actually be able to really hear this marvelous group of preformers bring this lovely and ever so English treasure to CD.
As I just said, the sound is great, the preformers are great and as for the music, of course it too is great. The 2 CD album is packed full of music but no dialogue and it comes with a book that includes the libretto.
As for the style of music, this is Sullivan at his most English. you can even hear the future of musical theatre that was to come very shortly after this in it strains. All the preformers do a lovely job but you can tell that this preformance could be easily transfered from their studio right unto the stage and into the pit.
It's all very beautiful music and if you were burned before by poor quality, let me again reitterate that this album is of the highest quality and very easy to enjoy."
Amazing Music, Adequate Performance
Aronne | 01/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Arthur Sullivan wrote Haddon Hall, "an original light opera in three Acts," in 1892 from a libretto by Sydney Grundy. Regardless of the opinion of critics of the time, I cannot help but note that Haddon Hall is fabulous. It isn't as fine as Iolanthe or Ruddigore, but is of such an even quality that it puts most of Sullivan's other non-Gilbert collaborations to shame.
Haddon Hall has a distinctive flavor, as each of Sullivan's operas with Gilbert. Dorcas' song "But midst our jubilation... `Twas a dear little dormouse" is a joy, as is everything with Rupert Vernon.
I am glad I purchased this recording, even though it has certain shortcomings. Though the recorded quality is very good, the ladies' of the chorus tend to have the unnatural flute-like quality that plagues the BBC Rose of Persia. Also, the orchestra is not professional. I am sure it is far better than some of the Prince Consort's recordings, but the strings often have an edge that implies a failure to keep in time. Still, certain songs show no deficiencies ("There's no one by").
The cast is generally strong. Peter Thomas as Sir George Vernon is excellent. His range extends up to a high G with no unpleasant discomfort. Heather Boyd as Lady Vernon is a good contralto. The quivering voice of Mary Timmons as their daughter Dorothy doesn't always come over smoothly, but is never off-key or pinched. Steven Griffin as her lover Sir John Manners has a strange voice. His top range is almost metallic. He doesn't do a bad job; he just does not have the normal tenor voice.
Alan Borthwick as Oswald (Manner's servant) does have a normal tenor voice. He seems a bit unwilling to give us volume on his top notes, but does very well otherwise. Fiona Main as Dorcas is perhaps the best singer in the lot. Her voice is beautiful.
Ian Lawson puts a dry spin on the sour Rupert Vernon. His performance is fine, matched well by Maxwell Smart as The McCrankie, whose voice is unlike any other. His Scottish accent is comical and enjoyable.
This recording, though imperfect, is still worth the purchase of any devoted G&S fan. Sullivan's skill went beyond Gilbert, and Haddon Hall demonstrates this perfectly."