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G&S-Mikado & Yeomen

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 27 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: SRI Canada
  • ASIN: B000056H35
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
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Disc: 1
1. The Mikado, Act I: Ov
2. The Mikado, Act I: If You Want To Know Who We Are
3. The Mikado, Act I: Gentlemen, I Pray You Tell Me
4. The Mikado, Act I: A Wandering Minstrel I
5. The Mikado, Act I: Our Great Mikado
6. The Mikado, Act I: Young Man, Despair
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Mikado, Act II: Braid The Raven Hair
2. The Mikado, Act II: Sit With Downcast Eye
3. The Mikado, Act II: The Sun Whose Rays
4. The Mikado, Act II: Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day
5. The Mikado, Act II: Here's A How-De-Do
6. The Mikado, Act II: Miya Sama Miya Sama
See all 30 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: Ov
2. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: When Maiden Loves
3. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: Tower Warders, Under Orders
4. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: This The Autumn Of Our Life
5. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: When Our Gallant Norman Foes
6. The Yeomen Of The Guard, Act I: Alas I Waver To And Fro
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Description

The Mikado, The Yeomen of the Guard , livret de William Gilbert - dir Isidore Godfrey - Darryl Fancourt, Martyn Green, Leonard Osborn, Muriel Harding, Ann Drummond-Grant, Ella Halman

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
At last count, Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado" has been given a complete recording 11 times: an acoustic version back in 1917, two electric recordings in 1926 and 1936, a mono LP in 1950, and the rest are all in stereo, all but one now available on CDs. Only one contains the dialogue, but alas it is too amateurishly produced to be of any further value. The 1936 electric set on eleven 12" 78s might have qualified as being the best of the lot, were it not for a weak contralto as Katisha. Therefore I would have to call the 1950 set pretty close to top place.
Now tenor Leonard Osborn never failed to please when he appeared on stage, but his nasal voice did not sit too well on recordings, especially to those of us used to the creamy tenor of Derek Oldham, who had appeared on most of the acoustic and electric sets. However, we now have as part of the Naxos "Great Operetta Recordings" series that very 1950 recording and what a wonder it is in all other respects.
We have the greatest Mikado of them all in Darrell Fancourt, and the most famous Ko-Ko in Martyn Green. The Katisha is contralto Ella Hallman, whose vocal abilities are matched by her acting, while the Pooh-Bah, for once on any recording, is a fabulous basso-profundo named Richard Watson. It would be difficult to better the Three Little Maids: Margaret Mitchell (Yum-Yum), Joan Gillingham (Pitti-Sing), and Joyce Wright (Peep-Bo). Alan Styler's Pish-Tush is stylish and clear as a bell. And need we say that the D'Oyly Carte chorus is deep in the tradition set by the masters about 75 years earlier.
I can find no fault in the tempos chosen by conductor Isidore Godfrey. Finally at the Naxos budget price, this is the buy of the season--until the next D'Oyly Carte set is issued. And, Naxos, please let us have them with as short a waiting time between releases as possible.
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Format: Audio CD
I heartily endorse the words of the learned Mr. Behrens.
The 1950s FFRR mono sound was excellent for its time and not bad for ours.
Naxos has done its ususal wretched job in botching the supporting documentation. What little there is contains gross errors. Word on the G&S internet sites is that the identified Pish-Tush sings only "Our Great Mikado" in the first act. Apparently there was a Go-To (an optional singer used when a light baritone Pish-Tush cannot navigate the bass line of the second act madrigal) whose name is not even listed. (Even more esoterically, the sites say there was yet another unidentified Go-To on this recording--in "I am so Proud"--thus divding the role of Pish-Tush among three people!)
All that as it may be. This is a wonderful performance of the best of the G&S lot. I gave it a mere four stars only to protect those delicate souls whose ears cannot bear anything but DDD recordings. For you hardier individuals out there, get this one. It's a winner!
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite version of this appealing operetta, and strangely enough, I enjoy the absence of dialogue because it allows one to concentrate on the music, which is presented in a very ingratiating performance. All of these singers are G&S veterans (and I add that I find Leonard Osborn to be a perfectly fine G&S tenor) and, of course, Martyn Green's Ko-Ko is in a class by itself. Contrary to some reviews I've encountered regarding the Naxos re-mastering, I find it to be perfectly acceptable. One must remember that this recording was made in 1950, at the beginning of the L.P. era (stereo was still seven years into the future!), and that one must make allowances. The sound is definitely not state-of-the-art, but it is far superior to the sound of some live performances that have been routinely released by other companies. Give Naxos a break --- it's nice that they've re-issued this wonderful performance, and at a budget price to boot. What more could want?
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Format: Audio CD
Although admirably serving the noble purpose of preserving for posterity the vocal performances of some incredibly famous G&S 'specialists'(eg, Darrell Fancourt), this CD [set] is not for the average G&S fan, among whose ranks I count myself. Unfortunately, the preservation of old recordings is a tough thing, and this version suffers from terrible fidelity overall and in many songs, completely unintelligible lyrics. Many fans know all the lyrics by heart, but hearing them distorted and fuzzy grossly distracts from the experience and certainly won't win over any new fans. I thought I was taking the reasonable and less expensive route with this version, but will have to buy the more recent recording to enjoy Mikado. Do yourself a favor, save up a little longer, and buy the more expensive (recent) recording.
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