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Cox & Box
The Zoo
Thespis
Haddon Hall
The Rose of Persia
Pineapple Poll
Others

COX AND BOX

 

TRIAL BY JURY / COX & BOX
Premiere recording of Cox & Box in original version
Label: Chandos
Performed by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Rebecca Evans, Matthew Brook, James Gilchrist, Neal Davies, Donald Maxwell
Conducted by: Richard Hickox
No of Discs: 1

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COX & BOX - 1866 COMPLETE OPERA VERSION
Label: Divine Arts (England)
Performed by: Leon Berger, Ian Kennedy & Donald Francke with Kenneth Barklay on the Pianoforte
Musical Adviser: David Mackie 
No of Discs: 1

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RUDDIGORE / COX & BOX [1962 Recording]
Label: Decca
Performed by: John Reed, Thomas Round, Kenneth Sandford, Stanley Riley, Donald Adams, Jean Hindmarsh, Gillian Knight, Mary Samson, Jean Allister, Alan Styler, Joseph Riordan et al with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / New Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by: Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†2

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Amazon.co.uk Customer Comment
First issued in 1962 immediately following on from the 'with dialogue' recordings of PINAFORE, IOLANTHE, GONDOLIERS and PATIENCE, this recording of RUDDIGORE created quite a furore amongst G & S Fans when despite initial advertising indicating that the dialogue would be included, in the event it was absent. This was a great pity as there would certainly have been space over the four LP sides to include the dialogue. DECCA may have thought that the inclusion of the Original Overture as an entr'acte and the duet "The battle's roar" (normally cut from stage production at that time) would appease the critics, but the row rumbled on for some time. That row did however eventually result in the reinstatement on stage of the original act two finale, and the duet (although this was placed in act two). 
The cast is a vintage one with John Reed and Kenneth Sandford both on top form, Mary Samson as a very sweet Rose, Thomas Round an excellent Dick Dauntless and Jean Allister guesting as Mad Margaret. Chorus and Orchestra excellent as ever under dear old Isidore Godfrey. 

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THE ZOO

 

THE SORCERER / THE ZOO [BOX SET]
Label: Decca London
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus with Ann Hood, Alan Styler, Christine Palmer, Donald Adams, David Palmer, Geoffrey Shovelton, Jean Allister, John Ayldon, Julia Goss, Jane Metcalfe, John Reed, Kenneth Sandford, Meston Reid, Stanley Riley, Valerie Masterson
Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by:†Isidore Godfrey / Royston Nash
No of Discs:†2

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Amazon Customer Review
THE SORCERER was recorded by D'Oyly Carte as a last minute project. The company had been scheduled by Decca to record MIKADO under the batton of Sir Malcolm Sargent, but illness struck and Isidore Godfrey stepped into the breach to complete what is affectionately referred to as the "Decca 2nd Series" with this recording.
THE SORCERER had not been in the repertoire of D'Oyly Carte since before the war, the costumes and scenery having been destroyed in the blitz, and indeed this recording must have been instrumental in the reinstatement of the opera in 1971. John Reed is as usual excellent as John Wellington-Wells, the sorcerer of the title, with Valerie Masterson in truly magnificent form as Aline. Donald Adams (who sang the Notary in the 1953 recording) gives a wonderful account of Sir Marmaduke and is admirably matched by Christine Palmer's Lady Sangazure. Orchestral and choral work is superb.
THE ZOO first appeared in 1875 just three months after TRIAL BY JURY and as with that work is through composed. The libretto is a wild burlesque of the Victorian conventions of Grand Opera. The opera was lost to sight for many years and was thought to have been destroyed. However, since the rediscovery of the work in the late 1960's, THE ZOO has become a great favourite with amateur companies as a curtain raiser.
Suffice it to say that although never staged by D'Oyly Carte, the company gives a sparkling performance of what is a really hilarious Musical Folly. I tend to feel that the narration is unnecessary and a mistake, but it is unobtrusive enough not to detract from the overall enjoyment. 

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THE SORCERER / THE ZOO
Label: London
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus with Donald Adams, David Palmer, Alan Styler, Stanley Riley, John Reed, Christine Palmer, Valerie Masterson, Jean Allister, Ann Hood, Meston Reid, Kenneth Sandford, John Ayldon, Julia Goss, Jane Metcalfe, Geoffrey Shovelton
Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Isidore Godfrey / Royston Nash
No of Discs:†2

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Amazon Customer Review
Whilst the Mikado and the 'Pirates' are regularly done to death, on an annual basis, by every amateur company from Tasmania to Tanzania, the 'less popular' works of G and S remain, for many, undiscovered gems. Such is 'The Sorcerer.' This D'Oyly Carte production is (I believe) the only recording in print. Coupled with it is 'The Zoo', a collaboration of Sullivan and somebody called Rowe. It dates from 1875 and is contemporaneous with Trial by Jury. Quite simply, it is a revelation. It has all the ingredients of a full-scale G and S condensed into 39 minutes and without Gilbert! It makes us wonder 'what might have been?' if Sullivan had worked on a long term project with Rowe rather than Gilbert. If you are replacing your old vinyl or new to G and S then you've got to have it. 

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THESPIS

 

IOLANTHE [Soundtrack] & THESPIS
Label: TER
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Regina Hanley, Philip Blake Jones, Jill Pert, Elizabeth Woollett, Richard Suart, Lawrence Richard, Philip Creasey, John Rath, Yvonne Patrick, Madeleine Mitchell, Louise Owen et al.
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra
Conducted by:†John Pryce-Jones
No of Discs:†2

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HADDON HALL

HADDON HALL
An original Light Opera in 3 Acts written by Sydney Grundy and composed by Arthur Sullivan
Label: Divine Art
Orchestra: Prince Consort Orchestra
No of Discs: 2

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SULLIVAN - THE OPERAS THAT GOT AWAY
Label: TER
Performed by: Arthur Davies, Gareth Jones, Gillian Knight, Valerie Masterson, Frances McCafferty, Richard Suart et al
Conducted by: David Steadman 
Orchestra: National Symphony Orchestra, 
No of Discs:†1

On this CD
Arias, duets & ensembles from The Martyr Of Antioch, Ivanhoe, Haddon Hall, The Chieftain, The Rose Of Persia, The Beauty Stone, The Emerald Isle

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THE ROSE OF PERSIA

THE ROSE OF PERSIA
Label: Cpo
Conductor: Tom Higgins
Orchestra:

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Amazon Customer Review
After much wrangling by a number of record companies, CPO at last re-issue this fully professional recording of Sir Arthur Sullivan's last completed work for the stage. Tom Higgins draws an excellent performance from a cast of experienced principal performers headed by Richard Suart as Hassan and Sally Harrison in the title role. The Southwark Voices provide an excellent chorus.
Sullivan's atmospheric, infectious and highly enjoyable score (punctuated with an unusually large number of dances for a Savoy Opera) is heard here in its' full glory, uncut, and in an edition prepared from the original autograph score. Librettist Basil Hood (of MERRIE ENGLAND fame) comes closer than any of Sullivan's other partners to the style of Gilbert, providing a rollocking tale of disguises and mistaken identities in the Persia of Arabian Nights mythology. Threats of beheadings and unsuitable weddings abound, to be resolved by a final twist of truly Gilbertian logic. All this resulted in a very respectable initial run of 213 performances in 1899 and extended provincial tours.
CPO provide copious notes and the full libretto of the musical numbers in three languages.
One thing to say, the original recording was sponsored, track by track, by members of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society (without whom the recording might never have been made). The original issue omitted to credit these people and sadly, as I understand the society was not involved with this reissue, the omission has not been rectified.
The six overtures used as a filler are beautifully played and recorded. All in all an excellent addition to the ever expanding commercial Sullivan recorded repertoire 

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THE ROSE OF PERSIA / EMERALD ISLE [BOX SET]
Label: Pearl
Conductor: Tom Higgins
Orchestra:

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Amazon Customer Review
These two works were composed by Sullivan at the very end of his life and represent a return to the style of his previous Savoy works with W S Gilbert. Both libretti are by Basil Hood (later to write MERRIE ENGLAND with Edward German). The score of THE EMERALD ISLE (left incomplete at the time of Sullivan's death) was completed by Edward German.
THE ROSE OF PERSIA first appeared at the Savoy in November 1899 where it enjoyed a very successful initial run before going on tour. The piece was revived in the 1930's in repertoire with MERRIE ENGLAND.
THE EMERALD ISLE was first produced at the Savoy in April 1901 (5 months after Sullivan's death) and this is the only recording ever released (again originally on L.P.)  With EMERALD ISLE of course one has the fun of spotting the numbers written by Sullivan and those by German. This would seem a simple matter as the vocal score allocates each number in the score to one or other composer and this is reproduced in the booklet. However, having produced the work myself, it became obvious in rehearsal (especially when the orchestra became involved) that numbers either attributed wholly to German or supposedly orchestrated by him, contained phrasing (either orchestra or vocal) that is very obviously the work of Sullivan. One assumes that Sullivan left orchestral and vocal sketches for many numbers that German then used as his starting point.
This recording of EMERALD ISLE is a delightful introduction to the work and, in the absence of any full-scale professional recording of either of these works, the set is a must for Sullivan lovers and lovers of Comic Opera in general. 

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PINEAPPLE POLL

Pineapple Poll Background (written by Marc Shephard)
In 1950, the copyright on Sullivan's music expired. Gilbert's words would still enjoy another eleven years of protection, but the music was now fair game. One of the first to exploit it was Sadler's Wells, who mounted a ballet called Pineapple Poll based on Gilbert's Bab Ballad "The Bumboat Woman's Story" and set exclusively to music by Sullivan, arranged by a young Charles Mackerras. The ballet premiered in March, 1951, to coincide with the Festival of Britain. It caused an immediate sensation and remained in the Sadler's Wells repertoire for years to come. During the war, Mackerras had played oboe in the pit of a Sydney theatre, where they produced all the G&S operas except for Utopia and Grand Duke (the only two not represented in Poll). Mackerras also played piano for a ballet arrangement of Offenbach's Gay Parisienne, and it occurred to him that G&S would be similarly well-suited to dance.
Mackerras's arrangement weaves tunes from the Savoy Operas together brilliantly. The orchestration bounces from one tune to the next so quickly that the listener can scarcely keep up. His arrangement uses a much larger orchestra than Sullivan's forces - three each of woodwind and trumpets, plus lots of percussion. (A suite from the score that Chappell published reduced the orchestration to a more manageable size for amateur performers.) Excerpts from the forty-five minute ballet have been recorded numerous times and are available as filler material on several currently-available CDs. 

Pineapple Poll is also included on many of Sullivan's 'Other music' CDs. Details of these can be found here

 

 

SULLIVAN: PINEAPPLE POLL / IRISH SYMPHONY IN E
Label: Naxos
Performed by: Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: David Lloyd-Jones
No of Discs: 1

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PINEAPPLE POLL SUITE  / Lady & the Fool (Verdi)
Label: Classics for Pleasure
Performed by: Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs: 1

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PINEAPPLE POLL / PRINCESS IDA
Label: London
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, New Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by:†Sir Malcolm Sargent / Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs:†2

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IOLANTHE / PINEAPPLE POLL
Complete, without dialogue, recorded 1951
Label: Regis
Performed by: Ann Drummond-Grant, Alan Styler, et al.
Orchestra: Sadler's Wells Orchestra
Conducted by:†Isidore Godfrey / Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs:†2

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SULLIVAN: PINEAPPLE POLL BALLET
Also contains overtures to Yeomen, Ruddigore, The Mikado and Iolanthe

Label: EMI Classics / British Composers
Performed by: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by: Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs: 1

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PRINCESS IDA / PINEAPPLE POLL
Label: Decca
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by:†Sir Malcolm Sargent / Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs:†2

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Amazon Customer Review
Of course everyone has personal favourites amongst the G & S recorded repertoire and certainly for me PRINCESS IDA is far more immediate, far better paced, in the 1953 recording, but suffers from an ageing Victoria Sladen in the title role. The 1965 recording presented here, has the advantage of Elizabeth Harwood and also the young Valerie Masterson making her recording debut as Melissa. 
John Reed as King Gama is remarkably subdued for him, but then he has little to do and the lack of dialogue deprives him of much of his vehicle. Kenneth Sandford however, turns in a wonderful King Hildebrand.
Hilarion (Philip Potter) and his friends have great fun in Act Two and the second act finale is a highlight.
Sir Malcolm Sargent's pacing may be more relaxed but in general this is a beautiful recording.

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PINEAPPLE POLL
Label: Arabesque
Conducted by: Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs: 1

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OTHERS

 

THE GROSSMITH LEGACY
Label: Diversions
Sung by: Leon Berger
Piano: Selwyn Tillett
No of Discs: 1

Amazon.co.uk Price: £8.99

Extract from Marc Shepherd's review
This CD includes nineteen more of the tracks Berger and Tillett recorded in 1995-96. As a bonus, the disc rounds off with two recordings that George Grossmith III himself made in 1909, "Bertie the Bounder" and "Yip-I-addy-I-ay." The liner notes are detailed and lavishly illustrated. 
Even the pieces that lack any G&S connection are enjoyable and significant to an appreciation of the era when their operas were created. One caution: Set aside time when you can really listen to these numbers. This is not background music, but depends for its effect on listening carefully to every word: thankfully, all of the songs come across clearly, thanks to Leon Berger's superb diction, even in the patter songs. He is to be commended for getting his arms around some very difficult material, most of which was written by, and for, a man of unique talents the likes of which we may never see again.
 

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A SOCIETY CLOWN - THE SONGS OF GEORGE GROSSMITH
Label: Divine Art
Sung by: Leon Berger
Piano: Selwyn Tillett

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On this CD
24 Songs in association with the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society. 

Read Marc Shepherd's review of this CD by clicking here

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GROSSMITH - DIARY OF A NOBODY [AUDIO BOOK]
George & Weedon Grossmith 
Unabridged. Read by Martin Jarvis on 4 CDs 

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Synopsis

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