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Sullivan: Merchant Of Venice / Henry VIII / Sapphire Necklace
 
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Sullivan: Merchant Of Venice / Henry VIII / Sapphire Necklace

7 Oct. 1992 | Format: MP3

£7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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2:25
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3:34
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4:27
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2:24
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5:21
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1:43
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3:34
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4:29
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3:06
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4:45
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6:29
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10:25
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11:45
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1992
  • Release Date: 7 Oct. 1992
  • Label: Marco-Polo
  • Copyright: (C) 1992 Naxos Rights International
  • Total Length: 1:04:27
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LYIE8E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,767 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Amazon.com: 1 review
An Interesting Disc of Rarities 9 April 2010
By Aronne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
During the first half of the 1990s, Andrew Penny recorded five Sullivan discs for Naxos/Marco Polo. One is a decent CD of Gilbert and Sullivan Overtures. The other four contain purely Sullivan Without Gilbert works (SWOGs). Of those four, I would mark this one as the least essential.

Initially promising, the suite of incidental music for The Merchant of Venice is variable in quality. The infectious Bourrée and the whirling Finale are the strongest numbers, but are also available on a better-played recording from EMI with the Introduction and Waltz as well (Gilbert & Sullivan: Ruddigore; The Merchant of Venice Suite - also includes some of Sullivan's music for The Tempest, Op. 1).

The Danse Grotesque is a missed opportunity. Rather than being delightfully weird, it is repetitive and boring. The Barcarole (Serénade) is a bit better, but Emmanuel Lawler's performance scarcely makes a strong case for it. Lawler's contribution to the Incidental Music to Henry VIII in the form of King Henry's Song is better. The song itself is not particularly inspired (it's a sort of dull version of the Duke's cut song from Patience), but it is pleasant enough. The best number from the music for Henry VIII is the Graceful Dance, which has the distinction of being the first overture to "The Sorcerer" before Sullivan and his assistants could get something together from the themes of the opera itself.

The Sapphire Necklace Overture, to Sullivan's early (now lost) serious opera, holds a good deal of interest. Though not as dramatically informed as Sullivan's Macbeth Overture, The Sapphire Necklace is at least good enough to deserve wider recognition. The Overture in C (In Memoriam), written after the death of Sullivan's father, is frequently derided by music essayists as "an inflated religious piece," but I find it to be very enjoyable. Sure, it is a bit reminiscent of Sullivan's sappier side, but on the whole pulls itself together nicely.

The RTE Concerto Orchestra, Dublin plays well for Andrew Penny -- better than I might have expected, in fact. Marco Polo provides a good if not outstanding digital recording. A pity this disc hasn't been released on Naxos. Even so, I consider it the weakest of the four discs Penny has recorded. Only the most rapacious Sullivan collectors will not be satisfied with the Merchant of Venice excerpts available with Sargent's Ruddigore and the (better) recording of the Overture in C coupled with Sargent's Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan: The Pirates of Penzance; Overtures).
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