- Audio CD (Mar 17 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B000003CXW
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Chorus Of Nobles|
|2. Song And Chorus Nanki-Poo|
|3. Song Pish-Tush And Chorus|
|4. Song Pooh-Bah With Nanki-Poo And Pish-Tush|
|5. Recitative Nanki-Poo And Pooh-Bah|
|6. Chorus With Solo Ko-Ko|
|7. Song Ko-Ko With Chorus Of Nobles|
|8. Chorus Of Schoolgirls|
|9. Trio Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo And Pitti-Sing With Chorus Of Schoolgirls|
|10. The Mikado: Quartet -- Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo, Pitti-Sing, And Pooh-Bah With Chorus Of Schoolgirls|
|11. Duet Yum-Yum And Nanki-Poo|
|12. Trio Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko And Pish-Tush|
|13. Finale, Act One|
|14. Solo Pitti-Sing And Chorus Of Schoolgirls|
|15. Song Yum-Yum|
|16. Madrigal Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, Nanki-Poo, And Pish-Tush|
|17. Trio Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo, And Ko-Ko|
|18. Entrance Of Mikado And Katisha|
|19. Song Mikado And Chorus|
|20. Trio And Chorus Ko-Ko, Pitti-Sing, Pooh-Bah, And Chorus|
See all 26 tracks on this disc
The Mikado was launched successfully at the Savoy in 1885. Gilbert and Sullivan set the light opera in Japan, though they were masking English and Victorian society. The story revolves around Nanki Poo's plan to marry Yum Yum. Katisha, the commanding daughter-in-law elect of the Mikado Emperor, wants to have Nanki Poo for herself. Felicty Palmer delivers a sensational Katisha. Her mezzo-soprano voice is dramatic, full of fire and fury and power- as in the finale to Act 1 where she interrupts the impending wedding of Yum Yum and Nanki Poo. The Mikado is set to Japanese-style music, imitated by the orchestra in five meters. The best samples for this type of music are found in the opening chorus "We Are Gentlemen Of Japan" and in "Miyasama Miyasama" the entrance march of The Mikado. Once again only Anthony R. Johnson and Felicity Palmer are the real treats here. Felicity Palmer makes a fine Katisha, second only to the more impressive Christene Palmer (I wonder if they were related ?) of the D'Oyly Carte Opera. Marie McLaughlin sounds too mature for Yum Yum who is supposed to be a "little maid from school" after all. And when compared to Valerie Masterson, McLaughins' The Sun Whose Rays is too deep sounding. But this is still a great way to get you into Gilbert and Sullivan.
Musically, this is a superb album. It is good to have Adams' famous portrayal of the Mikado in a splendid digital recording, and Suart, D'Oyly Carte's "patter" specialist at that time, is a superb Ko-Ko. Anthony Rolfe Johnson is a marvelous Nanki-Poo, and the veteran Richard Van Allan is a capable Pooh-Bah. The other singers are less well-known, but generally very good. Nicholas Folwell stands out as Pish-Tush, with a ringing "Our great Mikado" and a rock-firm contribution to the "cheap and chippy chopper" trio. Mackerras conducts superbly, with generally brisk tempi, but able to relax the pace when the situation calls for it--e.g, in the last part of the "little list" song, where his pacing allows Suart to emphasize the "apologetic statesmen" segment.
None of the dialogue is included, and there are a few cuts to the score, most notably the second verse of the "little list." The less than memorable overture is also eliminated. The plus side of these cuts is that the entire operetta fits onto a single CD--an excellent value.
If your primary interest is in a well sung and played "Mikado," this recording is a likely first choice. Even if you are in the "must have the dialogue" camp, or you simply can't do without Ko-Ko's reference to "that singular anomaly, the lady novelist," you'll probably find this an enjoyable supplement to other recordings.