SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Size: 329 MB
The Pirates of Penzance, operetta
Composed by Arthur Sullivan
Performed by Welsh National Opera Orchestra
with Richard van Allan, Donald Adams, Rebecca Evans, Richard Suart, Gillian Knight, John Mark Ainsley, Michael Bishop, Julie Gossage, Nicholas Folwell, Jenevora Williams, Rosalind Ilett
Conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras
01. Pour, Oh Pour, The Pirate Sherry
02. When Fred’ric Was A Little Lad
03. Oh, Better Far To Live And Die
04. You Have Deceived Me
05. Climbing Over Rocky Mountain
06. Stop, Ladies, Pray!
07. Oh! Is There Not One Maiden Breast
08. Poor Wand’ring One
09. What Ought We To Do? Gentle Sisters, Say!
10. How Beautifully Blue The Sky
11. Stay, We Must Not Lose Our Senses
12. Hold, Monsters!
13. I Am The Very Pattern Of A Modern Major-General
14. Oh! Men Of Dark And Dismal Fate
15. Oh! Dry The Glist’ning Tear
16. Now, Frederic, Let Your Escort Lion-Hearted
17. When The Foeman Bares His Steel
18. Now For The Pirates’ Lair!
19. When You Had Left Our Pirate Fold
20. Away, Away, My Heart’s On Fire!
21. All Is Prepared! Your Gallant Crew Await You!
22. Stay, Fredric, Stay!
23. No, I’ll Be Brave! Oh, Family Descent
24. When A Felon’s Not Engaged In His Employment
25. A Rollicking Band Of Pirates We
26. With Cat-Like Tread
27. Hush! Hush! Not A Word
28. Sighing Softly To The River
Perfect – the right continuation of the series
The success of the Mackerras/Telarc MIKADO prompted Mackerras to choose PIRATES as his second entry. And he gives it a fresh, imaginative performance with his first-class team of starry singers and dedicated, alert forces. Richard Suart’s Major-General shows him easily surpassing John Reed. He finds more subtle nuances in this part, and he gives a delectable performance of his pater song that rarely sounds rushed. No doubt D’Oyly Carte experience has geared him up for this. Donald Adams, despite a hiatus after recording the part of the Pirate King with D’Oyly Carte, still shows himself in glorious voice, and continually keeping touch, even despite his age. The romantic edge of the opera is perfectly brought out by John-Mark Ainsley’s heady-toned and lyrical Frederic and Rebecca Evans’s creamy Mabel, who inject a certain magic into the Act Two duet, Ah leave me not to pine alone. And what should also be considered special are Gillian Knight’s bright-toned and shining Ruth and Richard Van Allan’s bumptuous Sergeant of Police. Run for your money, Owen Brannigan! Van Allan has managed to fit the character of the Sergeant a little more with his voice-shaping. And he certainly sounds a little bit more flattered and comical than you, incereasing the freshness in his portrayal until it surpasses yours. The chorus is superbly disciplined, the orchestral playing alert and imaginative, and Mackerras gives his own inimitable touch to the overall result. Telarc’s recording is perfectly faultless, with nothing to gripe about, and it caps a performance that sparkles more than D’Oyly Carte’s 1968 Decca recording.
P.S. Some may gripe about the lack of dialogue. This recording only contains the music, except for the Overture, which could not be fitted onto a single disc.