I was brought up on G and S comic opera, my parents both being keen devotees. I was humming G and S melodies at infant school age, while my classmates whistled the latest hits by the Osmonds and Slade. Love them or loathe them (in my experience few people are indifferent), their operas were utterly unique: a world of Lord Chancellors, Major Generals, Pirate Kings and Fairie Queens, where the patter baritone rules, along with the dame contralto!
This CD is an excellent sampler to the melodic genius of Sir Arthur Sullivan and the equally outstanding wordsmithery of Sir William Schwenck Gilbert. The recordings are from D'oyly Carte, mainly from the 1960s when the company was still in its prime. The singers are top quality, as are the songs, and importantly the orchestral accompaniment is second to none.
The selection is almost uniformly excellent, my only criticism being that Princess Ida (in my view a relatively drab work) is over-represented, with 5 songs. On the other hand, Trial By Jury has only one entry, with neither of its tenor ballads featured. That is my only quibble, and it is admittedly rather petty. If you have a passing interest in G and S, you cannot go wrong by purchasing this introductory selection.