If the captain scuttles the ship, then take him to court.
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I owned this recording on LP for many years. (D'you remember the LP?)While the playing and singing are for the most part extremely good, it's the tempi in "Pinafore" that really bogs things down. Of all the G&S scores, this is the freshest and saltiest, and should lift you off your seat, instead of keeping you couch-bound. "Trial by Jury" is a different matter entirely, a true joy, recorded as though it were a live performance, complete with chorus mutterings and madcap mayhem: you can almost see the staging. Why doesn't the rest of the series have this kind of life? "Trial" was the reason I saved this recording for so long, and the real reason to buy it, if you must. If not, stick to the old D'Oyly Carte. That one showed me how "Pinafore" is supposed to go."
Crisp, bright and breezy!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording, one of a series made by EMI to rival the D'Oyly Carte recordings, is fresh and bright as a coat of new paint on the hull of this delectable ship. Richard Lewis, as Ralph (pronounced as Rafe, a Victorian idiosyncracy!)is superbly refined as a singer and displays a 'fresh' approach to his arias. James Cameron as Capt Corcoran, is also equally robust and both are the stars of the production. The chorus and orchestra, both collected together for the recordings are disciplined and crisp. Sir Malcolm, is his usually precise self and conducts a superb rendition of the the opera. The omission of dialogue is felt, and one longs for the nuances of the D'Oyly carte cast in their portrayals. The 1959 recording with John Reed as Sir Joseph Porter K.C.B, conducted by Isidore Godfrey is still the finest on record. The coupling of Trial by Jury is superb and a rival to the D'Oyly Carte Company recordings. Of the series this is the best of them, with Iolanthe being a close second. The whole series is worth having if you are an avid collector of G&S."
A frienjd of many years
David Hunt | Oakland, CA | 01/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've loved the Sargent G&S series on EMI for years and owned them all on lp. It was in this one that I first encountered the singing of the great Welsh tenor, Richard Lewis. I recently found his recordings of Handel Arias--the best I've ever heard--on Dutton CD's and urge fans to get it. George Baker, the Joseph Porter in this recording is ideal for G&S comic roles--funny without being silly or effete."
A better entry in the Sargent Glyndebourne series
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 02/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This PINAFORE was recorded when Sargent's Glyndeourne series was underway. Of the installments in the "big three" operas, this seems to be the most successful of them all. Sargent's preference for slow tempi does not rear its ugly head as vigorously as it did in MIKADO and in PIRATES. The paying of the so-called Pro-Arte Orchestra is of a standard as high as the singing, and the EMI recording is well up to the standard of the other entries of the Glyndebourne series. However, as usual with this series, there is a certain amount of dreariness that steals a little of the G&S fun.George Baker maintains his touch solidly as the Ruler of tthe Qyeen's Navee. Despite his age (he was in his mid-seventies and past his prime) he manages to give a distinctive portrayal and first-rate diction. The rest of the cast, notably James Milligan as the Boatswain, John Cameron as the Captain and Monica Sinclair as Little Buttercup, all make the most of their songs just as you would expect them to. Richard Lewis and Elsie Morrison as the two romantic lovers help to demonstrate the romantic theme of the opera eloquently, if not convincingly enough, and they both sing with a refined tone. What is notable is Owen Brannigan's portrayal of the jealous and mishapen Dick Deadeye. It may lack the villainy that makes Donald Adams' performance to lifelike, but I feel that Brannigan manages to convey his personality and give it a disttinctive "Brannigan Touch." The choral singing, as always, is top-notch and accompanies the singers well. What makes this issue tempting is the inclusion of the first-rate TRIAL BY JURY recording that many consider the best Sargent/Glyndebourne entry.To sum everything up, this PINAFORE is adequate enough to compete with the best recorings, but with livelier recordings available, particularly by D'Oyly Carte and Mackerras, this cannot be anybody's first choice unless you admire Sargent's conducting style or are extremely curious."