Julianne Warner Mcgarry | Baltimore, MD | 02/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's an ongoing challenge to find a recording of Gilbert and Sullivan that combines premium musicality and great theatrical performance. This recording is a true gem on both fronts. My only complaint is that for a "Best of" collection, this compilation is Mikado-heavy and scarcely touches on highlights from other masterpieces, particularly The Pirates of Penzance. This would be my favorite G&S CD of all time, of only it included tracks like "When the Foeman Bares his Steel," "Poor Wand'ring One," and "Dry the Glist'ning Tear," but then again, I guess there's no real consensus as to which are Gilbert and Sullivan's best works, and there are too many to fit on one CD."
Not Exactly "The Ultimate" Collection...
A. Fark | 12/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that a collection of Gilbert & Sullivan music that has the name "The Ultimate Collection" in its title would boast a wide range of music, but I found the selection disappointing. Half of the tracks are songs from The Mikado, and the other half is divided between five... yes, FIVE other operettas. This means that the representation from each operetta is awfully scant. I would have liked to see less Mikado and more of everything else, and perhaps some highlights from the more obscure operettas (Princess Ida and The Sorcerer, namely).
In addition, while most of the music is very well performed, some of the vocalists either go a bit overboard or, at the very opposite end, seem to lack expression. For example, this Nanki-Poo (in The Mikado) seems to be overly occupied with vibrato. Katisha's voice is annoying, and The Mikado's low voice often seems to lack feeling and humor. The other idiosyncracies, like the very frightening evil laughing during "A More Humane Mikado" and hissing during "Three Little Maids" really bug me.
Then again, I'm new to Gilbert and Sullivan, and was introduced to the music through the Topsy Turvy soundtrack, which has a noticeably less operatic style, and hardly includes "stage noise"... so perhaps all this is the norm. Do listen to the tracks for yourself, though, before you purchase the CD. Personally, I find that the Topsy Turvy soundtrack, while considerably less ecompassing, is much lighthearted and easier listening."
Not quite the ultimate....
Polly Punster | United States | 03/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great collection, but unfortunately it doesn't have songs from all the works of G&S. Most notably, there is nothing from the "Yeoman of the Guard". I still reccommed it however as John Reed is wonderful!!"
Well worth the price
Ranger243 | East Coast USA | 04/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love this CD. No, despite its name it is not the "ultimate" collection, as scarcely could be expected from a single CD. It is heavy on Mikado, as others have stated. It leaves out things I would have included and includes things I would have left out. But the performances are wonderful, traditional and all you expect from G&S. Considering the low price, it is well worth including in your G&S collection ... as PART of your collection. After the disappointment of the godawful Opera World video series (Don't buy it!) this CD is a joy and a relief."
Converted to G&S
William | Moreno Valley, Ca | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For about a year i've been trying to convert my classical-music fan Daniel to my usual alternative-punk taste. But when, early this summer, completely by accident i overheard heard him listening to this CD with another freind, my life was forever changed (melodrama intended.) I borrowed the CD from him over a month ago and still havent given it back. I checked out Asimovs annotated Gilbert and Sullivan from the library and have read most of it already. So, as you can probably tell from this narrative. i quite like it."