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Gilbert & Sullivan; The Pirates of Penzance / Mackerras, Welsh National Opera
Arthur Sullivan, Orchestra & Chorus of the Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras
Gilbert & Sullivan; The Pirates of Penzance / Mackerras, Welsh National Opera
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1

This is the opera with THE patter song-"I am the very model of a modern major general." It's been quoted, parodied, rewritten, and recycled now to the point where, even if you don't know where it came from, you'll recogniz...  more »

      
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This is the opera with THE patter song-"I am the very model of a modern major general." It's been quoted, parodied, rewritten, and recycled now to the point where, even if you don't know where it came from, you'll recognize the tune. And there's another tune you might find familiar: the original version of the song "Hail, hail, the gang's all here." In fact, Sullivan's gift for coming up with instantly memorable melodies was matched only by Gilbert's witty way with the lyrics. It's ironic that the two men actually disliked each other, and regarded these immortal pieces as a sideline. The Victorians weren't big on humor, which is a pity because as these operettas show, they had a lot to laugh about. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

Perfect - the right continuation of the series
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 02/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The success of the Mackerras/Telarc MIKADO prompted Mackerras to choose PIRATES as his second entry. And he gives it a fresh, imaginative performance with his first-class team of starry singers and dedicated, alert forces. Richard Suart's Major-General shows him easily surpassing John Reed. He finds more subtle nuances in this part, and he gives a delectable performance of his pater song that rarely sounds rushed. No doubt D'Oyly Carte experience has geared him up for this. Donald Adams, despite a hiatus after recording the part of the Pirate King with D'Oyly Carte, still shows himself in glorious voice, and continually keeping touch, even despite his age. The romantic edge of the opera is perfectly brought out by John-Mark Ainsley's heady-toned and lyrical Frederic and Rebecca Evans's creamy Mabel, who inject a certain magic into the Act Two duet, Ah leave me not to pine alone. And what should also be considered special are Gillian Knight's bright-toned and shining Ruth and Richard Van Allan's bumptuous Sergeant of Police. Run for your money, Owen Brannigan! Van Allan has managed to fit the character of the Sergeant a little more with his voice-shaping. And he certainly sounds a little bit more flattered and comical than you, incereasing the freshness in his portrayal until it surpasses yours. The chorus is superbly disciplined, the orchestral playing alert and imaginative, and Mackerras gives his own inimitable touch to the overall result. Telarc's recording is perfectly faultless, with nothing to gripe about, and it caps a performance that sparkles more than D'Oyly Carte's 1968 Decca recording.P.S. Some may gripe about the lack of dialogue. This recording only contains the music, except for the Overture, which could not be fitted onto a single disc."
A Wonderful Performance for Half the Price
stephaniekirk | 06/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While the D'Oyle Carte Production of "Pirates" (on London Records) may be the best of the bunch, the performers on this particular CD still have much to be proud of. There may not be any standout performances (like that of Owen Brannigan on the album mentioned above) but all of the singers here do a fine job. This is a fun, energetic production of one of G&S's finest operas and, best of all, it fits all the music, save the overture, onto a single CD. Recommended for both the curious and completists alike."