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The Best Ida,
This review is from: Gilbert & Sullivan: Princess Ida / Pineapple Poll (Audio CD)
This is the best cast ever assembled for a commercial recording of "Princess Ida". Well cast, with an exceptional Hilarion from Phillip Potter, and a gorgeous Ida from Elizabeth Harwood. Harwood recorded far too infrequently, and we are grateful that we have this and "Yeomen". What lets it down at times is Sargent's curious tempi for some numbers like "The woman of the wisest wit." Godfrey's conducting on the 1953 is more idiomatic and satisfying. The 1953 would be the first choice except for the vastly miscast Victoria Sladen as Ida. As well as a better Ida, this is one of Decca's better sounding recording. Fabulous sound, far superior to the 1953 one. This is an opera which I think is much better enjoyed on record. In performance, Gilbert's libretto is rather dull and uninteresting. But Sullivan has supplied some of his best music.