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Gilbert & Sullivan The Mikado - Iolanthe Highlights
 
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Gilbert & Sullivan The Mikado - Iolanthe Highlights

Alexander Faris/Sadler's Wells Opera Orchestra & Chorus
19 Jan. 2009 | Format: MP3

£19.59 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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4:55
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2:15
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0:42
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4:24
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2:36
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0:44
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3:58
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2:36
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3:31
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1:12
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4:02
Disc 2
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3:30
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1:48
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1:39
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0:42
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1:57
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2:20
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2:04
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2:04
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7:22
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2:25
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5:53
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3:15
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1:26
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5:09
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3:16
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1:20
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3:09
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3:48
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0:54
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2:55
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2:32
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1:28
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3:01
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3:35
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1:15
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 19 Jan. 2009
  • Release Date: 19 Jan. 2009
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Copyright: (C) 1993 EMI Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:15:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001TW4HZM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,277 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Papageno on 7 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD
A brilliant recording, with fabulous performance by Clive Refill as Ko-Ko. Great to have Jean Alllister and the Nanki-Poo of John Wakefield. Don't miss this. The Iolanthe with Eric Shilling is a great bonus.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a worthy recording of the Mikado! 2 Mar. 2004
By Jason Hurd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It really does make a difference, when performing Gilbert and Sullivan, to use singers who can act rather than the other way round. Every soloist here utilizes a very forward, "in-the-mask" vocal placement, which not only reduces the need to force, but helps to render their diction crystal-clear. Sample Jean Allister's Katisha. No plummy, oratorio contralto tones for her. Here is all the waspish, incisive malevolence that is already there in the writing; she just reveals it by singing and pronouncing the texts in a light and unforced manner. This approach helps to restore the vim and vigor to an opera that can often seem tired and "played-out" to modern ears. If the recording has any weakness, it may possibly be found in the Yum-yum and Nanki-Poo. Marion Studholme is perhaps more shrill than is necessary, while John Wakefield seems to have wandered in from a performance of Dream of Gerontius. These are minor quibbles, however. The overall excellence of the performance quells any doubts, with Alexander Faris' conducting a model of transparent clarity. The Iolanthe excerpts are also well-done, but it's Mikado that is the jewel here. Don't hesitate; buy it today!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
ARTICULATE MIKADO 31 Jan. 2007
By Walter Paul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Articulate - both in diction and in musical interpretation - this re-release of the 1960's Sadlers Wells recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's MIKADO is quite delightful. The care and loving detail, which were the keystones of SWO's productions of G & S and operettas in the 1960s onstage, are preserved here in Alexander Faris's splendidly gutsy interpretation of the most popular of all the Savoy Operas; if his speeds are at times too leisurely, all can be forgiven just to hear the superb soloists; the expert diction of Denis Dowling as Pooh-Bah; the heroic tones of John Wakefield as the Wandering Minstrel; Marion Studholme singing the best "Sun Whose Rays" you will ever here on disc; Jean Allister as a correctly dominating Katisha, (hurray - a real contralto!), with a superb glissando in "Beauty and the Bellow"; the glorious Pat Kern as Pitti-Sing making so much more of the traditional soubrette; John Heddle Nash giving a singing and acting lesson with Pish-Tush's only solo; and the droll Clive Revill so completely at ease in the comic role of Ko-Ko, (though it is strange that his running out of breath at the end of his verse in the Act Two trio was not corrected!) I have to say that this recording of THE MIKADO puts all other D'Oyly Carte and Glyndeboune recordings in the shade, and the inclusion of highlights from Sadlers Wells IOLANTHE from 1962 is just an added bonus - the overture in this is simply stunning, and how good to hear Eric Shilling, Heather Begg, and Elizabeth Harwood obviously enjoying themselves so much singing Sullivan's most musical of scores.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Performance 31 Mar. 2007
By DFG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an an authentic, accessible, entertaining, and deeply satisfying performance. Although I like all of the principal singers, my two favorite are Clive Revill as Ko-Ko and Jean Allister as Katisha. For me, the key to a successful Gilbert and Sullivan performance is that it is not only funny, but also touching. In my opinion, Revill and Allister score high in both departments. In their final scene together, they are both vulnerable and hilarious at the same time. One small detail about this recording that bothers me slightly is that the overture has been rewritten. It is a nice medley, but I miss the original. I understand that Sullivan did not write it, but it is based on his tunes and I've always liked it. But don't let that stop you from getting this recording. I consider it to be the best Mikado on record.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a Top Mikado! 18 July 2008
By Aronne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not everyone would agree (as is always the case), but I believe I have struck gold with this 1962 Mikado.

Having listened to the 1973 D'Oyly Carte, 1991 Mackerras, and 1957 Sargent versions, I found this one to be most rewarding of all. In each of the other three recordings, there is something to make the listener flinch. In the 1973 account, Katisha has problems getting up to her E's successfully; Jean Allister sings Katisha perfectly on the 1962 version. The 1991 recording is very good indeed, but Yum-Yum's G's in "So, please you, Sir, we much regret" sound funny; not so in the 1962 version. Sargent was inclined to slow tempi; Alexander Farris makes the 1962 version one of the most lively readings available.

The weakest member of the Sadler's Wells cast is probably Yum-Yum. That said, she is still a fine singer. The age of the recording (or something) puts a slight edge on her voice at times. She reminds me heavily of one of the D'Oyly Carte sopranos of the 1930's. This is no huge disappointment; she just isn't Valerie Masterson (but who is?).

Clive Revill is an excellent Ko-Ko, but for some reason, the recording team placed is "Tra la la's" on opposite speakers in "The flowers that bloom in the spring." It runs thus: "(Left speaker) The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra (right speaker) la." Such happens on every one of his concluding "la's."

The only other negative thing I can think of (beside the Mikado not attempting an evil laugh), is the sound is a bit veiled compared to other recordings. Still, it is definitely good enough, and does not alloy enjoyment.

The Iolanthe highlights maintain a similar quality in singing, though the fact that they did not (or were unable to) go the extra mile and record the entire thing is somewhat irritating. The Act I highlights are somewhat on the light side; all but two numbers of Act II are included.

Elizabeth Harwood is overly criticized in her Gilbert and Sullivan roles. She sings excellently here, though her voice is quite different from, say, Mary Sansom's on the 1960 D'Oyly Carte version. It is a joy to hear a young Heather Begg in the role of the Fairy Queen. Marjorie Thomas, soubrette star of the Sargent series, here gives a beautiful performance of Iolanthe's song and following scene (she hops up to that G-flat wonderfully).

Alexander's natural feel for G&S tempi fails him in one number on these highlights. "When I went to the bar" is taken at hyper-speed, all but robbing it of its charm. Eric Shilling, who sings The Lord Chancellor, sings a bit (I don't know how to put it) "bumpily" in places, particularly in the Nightmare Song. Just an impression.

(Note: of the songs included in the Iolanthe highlights, two lack second verses: "None shall part us," and "Soon as we may, off and away." Also, the "`Twill plunge them into grief and shame" section is omitted in "With Strephon for your foe.")

Jean Allister's Katisha, in my opinion, makes this recording worth while. Snatch it up before it vanishes indefinitely.

EDIT March 2010: I have since cooled slightly to this recording. It is indeed excellent, but I now give the title of Best Mikado to the 1957 D'Oyly Carte recording. It's available on Amazon for $2 in an acceptable mono download. Just search for "Godfrey Mikado." Happy listening!
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