Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tapping into "Broadway in a Box"

Maybe it was a little unfair of me to include William Warfield's performance of "Ol' Man River" from the 1966 Music Theater of Lincoln Center revival of Show Boat in Friday's selections (though he was only 46, the voice showed heavy signs of wear), but I couldn't resist. However, here he is 15 years earlier, in the 1951 film version.

by Ken

In Friday night's preview I explained how I found myself pondering Sony's Broadway in a Box, a 25-CD anthology of 25 Broadway musicals in either Original Broadway Cast recordings (18), later Broadway revivals (4), or Music Theater of Lincoln Center revivals (3) drawn from the combined archives of RCA and Columbia Records, the two most active producers of such recordings, both now under the Sony Music umbrella. And I explained how I realized that among the participants in those 25 efforts I had noticed two five-peaters and even one six-peater. (If you haven't had a crack at this, or you just want to see the contents of the set again, they're listed in the Friday post.)

Then we heard six classic Broadway numbers, among which, I said, both of our five-peaters and our six-peater were represented at least once. I thought we would start by hearing those six songs again -- in the same order, but this time properly identified:

Friday, December 27, 2013

Preview: "Broadway in a Box"

by Ken

I was looking at this box, Broadway in a Box, that I got for some agreeably modest price as an Amazon special -- 25 cast recordings of Broadway musicals, mostly Original Broadway Cast recordings, but with seven revivals mixed in, four from Broadway and three from the Music Theater of Lincoln Center. I only had two on CD, and one of those wasn't an original-label reissue, so I figured what the heck.

So I was looking at the box, which contains an interesting selection. Not necessarily the 25 I would have chosen from the RCA and Coiumbia musical-theater vaults (all now in the Sony fold, of course, making for quite a musical-theater vaultload), but all of at least some interest. And I was trying to see whether any "themes" popped out at me. And after a while I realized I could identify two five-peaters among the contributors and one six-peater. All three are represented at least once in the following six numbers, a pretty grand assortment, I think.

"The Lonely Goatherd"

"Ol' Man River"

"It's the little things you do together"

"Some Enchanted Evening"

"Everything's coming up roses"

"Officer Krupke"


Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's "The Nutcracker" -- the whole deal! (again -- our last annual encore presentation)

With the "Nutcracker Suite" sequence of Disney's Fantasia now unavailable, I thought to kick off we'd just look at this little teaser from Helgi Tómasson's San Francisco Ballet staging.

by Ken

[To repeat, this is an "encore presentation" of last year's encore presentation of 2011's complete-Nutcracker post, which I thought came out pretty darned well. You probably think it's a huge labor-saver just running a post "rerun." Perhaps I thought so too, but it never works out that way.]

The plan is pretty simple. As promised in Friday night's preview, when we heard (once again) two quite differently terrific performances of Tchaikovksy's own Nutcracker Suite, today we're going to hear the complete ballet, and chunks of it -- solely at my discretion -- twice!

Pretty much the last thing I added to what you'll see in the click-through is the plot synopsis (filched from Wikipedia). I went back and forth a lot about this, because I really don't pay much attention to plots, or even programs, when I listen to music written for the dance. I'm not a dance person to begin with, and I guess my listening orientation is to allow the music to plug its own built-in "program" into my imagination. Still, in the end it seemed to me that this curious format (for want of a better word) we've got going here at Sunday Classics is actually an extremely good way to hook up the plot and the music.

I'll have some quick (I hope) notes about the specifics when we get to the click-through, so let me just throw out two points about The Nutcracker:

(1) Tchaikovsky really didn't want to write the damned thing. So no, it was about as far from a "labor of love" as you can get.

(2) It was written to share a double bill with one of the composer's less-performed operas, Yolanta, which is the part of the bill that really interested and moved him. It has, in fact, nothing (that I can see or hear) in common with its birth billmate, and it strikes me as an incredibly difficult piece to really bring to life, but as with many difficult, fragile creations, its specialness holds special rewards. It deals, first, with the desperate desire of a very powerful man -- a king, in fact -- to shield a loved one, in this case his only daughter, from pain, in her case the knowledge that she's blind. But in the larger sense it deals with the futility of trying to protect someone from something it's impossible to "protect" her from, like reality. Someday we should undoubtedly talk about Yolanta. (But it's difficult.)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Preview: By popular demand, the gala Sunday Classics "Nutcracker (The Whole Deal)" returns AGAIN (one last time!)

You'd want to think twice before bidding on this record. The ABC Command label tells you it's one of the inferior later pressings; you want an original gold-label issue. (Note: Unfortunately, last year's preview-opening video clip of the Nutcracker Suite segment of Walt Disney's Fantasia has disappeared -- not entirely surprisingly, I guess. To be honest, I don't like it much anyway.)

by Ken

As far back as the mind recalls, Sunday Classics has celebrated the holiday musically at last in part with music from Tchaikovsky's ballets, and two years ago I went whole hog and offered a complete Nutcracker, basically double-covered throughout, and assembled from, well, a whole bunch of recordings. I brought it back last year, and now darned if it isn't here again. And as I ventured first in 2011's Nutcracker preview, what better way could there be to "warm up" for the main event than with the composer's own Nutcracker Suite, good old Op. 71a? In the click-through we've got two quite splendid, and interestingly different, performances.


TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a:
i. Miniature Overture

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, William Steinberg, cond. Command, recorded c1963

Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, cond. Decca, recorded c1985

You'll note straightaway in the Miniature Overture that William Steinberg is taking a rather spritelier approach and Charles Dutoit a more buoyant, caressing one. Both the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Montreal Symphony play utterly delectably.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Three duets from three Verdi operas

Marcelo Álvarez and Sondra Radvanovsky sing the Act II duet from Verdi's A Masked Ball at the Met, Dec. 8, 2012.

by Ken

In Friday's preview we heard answering soprano and tenor snippets from three great Verdi duets, and I hope you heard what causes them, as I noted, to blend in my head. I assume you also guessed that, although the act numbers (I, II, and III) were given correctly, they weren't from the same Verdi opera.

Today we're going to listen to a larger chunk from each duet -- still not the full scene, though perhaps one day we'll get to that. Even though the full duets aren't that long (the longest runs about nine minutes), that would have been just too much to tackle in one post. (We've actually heard the whole of the Ballo in maschera duet, but never mind.)


. . . now properly identified.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sunday Classics preview: Three acts, three duets

by Ken

Okay, so we've got these three duet-chunks for soprano and tenor -- duet-chunks that for reasons which I hope will become apparent have a way of merging and mingling in my head. They're very different, and yet . . . .

I don't think I'm giving away too much by stipulating that the composer is Giuseppe Verdi, or noting that in all three cases our chunk occurs near the end of a dramatic scene and seems to be attempting some resolution of the situation, with one partner tossing out the tune (in two cases the soprano, in one the tenor), and then the other partner lobbing it back.

For tonight we're going to hear pretty much just the tossing out and lobbing back, and I thought I'd skip texts -- we can catch up with that Sunday.

Act I

Soprano, "Ah! Seguirti fino agl'ultimi confini della terra" ("Ah! To follow you to the farthest confines of the earth")

Maria Caniglia, soprano; EIAR (Italian Radio) (Turin) Symphony Orchestra, Gino Marinuzzi, cond. Cetra, recorded 1941

Tenor, "Sospiro, luce ed anima di questo cor che t'ama" ("Breath, light, and life of this heart that loves you")

Richard Tucker, tenor; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Fritz Stiedry, cond. Live performance, Nov. 29, 1952

Act II

Tenor, "Oh, qual soave brivido l'acceso petto irrora!" ("Oh, what sweet throbbing thrills my burning breast!")

Plácido Domingo, tenor; Vienna Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan, cond. DG, recorded Jan.-Feb. 1989

Soprano, "Ahi, sul funereo letto ov'io sognava spegnerlo" ("Ah, on its deathbed, where I dreamed of stifling it")

Leontyne Price, soprano; RCA Italiana Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf, cond. RCA-BMG, recorded June 1966


Soprano, "Ah! Gran Dio, morir si giovine, io che penato ho tanto!"("Ah! Great God, to die so young, I who have suffered so much!")

Victoria de los Angeles, soprano; Rome Opera Orchestra, Tullio Serafin, cond. EMI, recorded June 1959

Tenor, "O mio sospiro e palpito, diletto del cor mio" ("O my breath and pulse, delight of my heart")

Luciano Pavarotti, tenor; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, cond. Live performance, 1970

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bruckner's Fourth Symphony -- four stories for four movements

[This post appeared in somewhat different form on Jan. 10, 2010.]

The Bruckner Monument in City Park, Vienna

by Ken

Back in January 2010, when the original versions of this series of posts appeared, we had only recently adagio-ed our way from Beethoven's two great symphonic Adagios, of the Eroica and Ninth Symphonies, to those of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) and Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) -- which I used as a pretty nervy way to tramp onto the turf of two of the trickier composers in the pantheon. Having thus sneaked up on Bruckner, I reasoned at the time, why not try to build some momentum? And the obvious way seemed to be by focusing on the Fourth Symphony, the meeting ground between the die-hard Bruckner Faithful and the people at the other extreme who think the guy just kept writing the same symphony over and over.

I still think it was a pretty good plan, only this time we're going to follow up next week by similarly exhumeing the later series of posts on the Bruckner Seventh Symphony, as a prelude to the Sunday Classics grand finale, the long-promised posts on the Bruckner Ninth Symphony.


If you were here for this week's previews, you've already the Scherzo of the Bruckner Fourth Symphony Friday night as performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwängler, from a live broadcast from Stuttgart, Oct. 22, 1951, and then last night the Scherzo again and also the first movement as performed by the Columbia Symphony under Bruno Walter, recorded by Columbia Masterworks (later CBS and Sony Classical) Feb. 13-25, 1960. I might note that I'm actually not that great a fan of Furtwängler's Bruckner, which seems to me to attempt to make constant moment-to-moment drama of music I think has more to do with observation and contemplation unfolding in large arcs of sound.

Back in the original series of Bruckner Fourth posts, we also heard a broadcast performance from Feb. 10, 1940, by the NBC Symphony under Bruno Walter (1876-1962). But when I went to cobble this post together last night, geographically removed from my records, I discovered that the audio files for the Walter-NBC Symphony performance had vanished, so I improvised by offering those two movements from the 1960 Columbia Symphony recording. Walter's Bruckner isn't much in vogue among the hard-core Bruckner faithful, but for me his stereo studio recordings of the Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Symphonies have held up awfully well. Which is lucky, because circumstances have dictated that we're going to have an encore hearing of the first movement today, by Walter and the Los Angeles pickup orchestra Columbia Masterworks assembled for him under the name "Columbia Symphony Orchestra" for the surprisingly extensive series of recordings he made in his 80s.
Our music program for today is simple: We're going to hear each movement of the symphony twice, in performances that have been chosen to provide some contrast. And in order to avoid straying too far from the music, I'm going to confine the yammering to one "story" per movement.

When we first heard the excerpts from Walter's stereo Bruckner Fourth, I noted that it was a month away from being 50 years old. Now, of course, it's 50-plus. Its limitations really aren't a matter of age, though; they were always there. Most importantly, there was the use of a bare-bones-size orchestra that was then sonically "puffed up" a bit in the mastering. Bruckner, more perhaps than any other composer, demands the highest level of orchestral playing imaginable, in terms of both the fullest size and weight and the highest degree of individual tonal refinement. And for the aforementioned die-hard Bruckner Faithful, Walter's way of constantly adjusting expressive content within individual phrases is taboo, a violation of what they perceive as the composer's monolithic structures. It could equally well be argued, though, that this remains the genius of the performance. Walter's Columbia Symphony recordings of the Bruckner Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Symphonies have an expressive sophistication I've never heard anyone else achieve in this music. (There's also a sonically limited but musically pretty darned good 1941 New York Philharmonic broadcast performance of the monumental Bruckner Eighth, which may possibly have been the last time he played the piece.)

As I mentioned last night, today's post features four "stories, and it just so happens that the Walter-Columbia Symphony Bruckner Fourth features in our first Bruckner "story."


It was about as close as I ever came to a drug experience. (We all have our talents. That doesn't seem to be one of mine.) I'd come home from summer camp with a wracking cough, and the doctor had prescribed a cough syrup with codeine. Left to my own devices, I'd switched on the little transistor radio my oldest cousin, who was in the Army, had bought for our grandparents at the PX in Germany. I found WQXR in time for the beginning of a piece I recognized (I'd missed the opening announcement) as the Bruckner Fourth Symphony. The codeine high seems to have enhanced my receptivity, and those 65 or so minutes passed like a flash -- or maybe like many more hours than they occupied.

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major (Romantic):
i. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
(Animated, not too fast)

Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter, cond. Columbia/CBS/Sony, recorded Feb. 13-25, 1960

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kurt Sanderling, cond. Bells of Saint Florian, recorded live c1996

I don't mean at all to suggest that you need to be high to appreciate Bruckner, or that it's an especially helpful way of listening to the music. But to the extent that it opens you to really listening, to hearing the patterns and the intermingling of huge outpourings and intimate shadings, it's guiding you into a kind of consciousness-raising that Bruckner did a whole lot better than drugs do (even for aficionados). This is a dimension of the music that clearly tantalized the hardy band of supporters he attracted in his difficult lifetime, but that -- as we'll talk about shortly -- even they barely began to understand.

If you think about it, what could be simpler than the opening of the symphony, which just plays with the musically crucial interval of the fifth, first sounding it, then augmenting it, then resounding it? It sounds like the sort of thing that anybody could do. In fact, though, it's something really only Bruckner could have thought of, and then known where to go with it, so that within maybe a minute and a half he's gone from this amazing hushed opening to blazing full-orchestra glory. So for starters, I suggest not "thinking about it," just hearing it. And after all these years I'm amazed at how well the 1960 Walter recording holds up. However, I'm delighted to offer alongside it the more expansive, breathtakingly beautiful performance by Kurt Sanderling (born 1912, retired in 2002). When it came to "the vision thing," musically speaking, Sanderling was one of the more trusty go-to conductors.


Bruckner arouses strong feelings, even if the strong feeling is boredom -- as expressed in that notion that he kept writing the same symphony over and over. At the opposite end are a coterie of worshippers whose devotion has many of the characteristics of religious worship -- a phenomenon we find all too often in the arts, and hardly ever to the good. In Bruckner's case, it can have the effect of remaking him into a religious icon. I know it's very unfair of me, but I often sense among the Bruckner religionists an attitude eerily similar to that of the Bruckner detractors: that yes, he wrote the same thing over and over, and yes, it gets kind of repetitious and even monotonous, but that's what's so wonderful!

The Bruckner religionists will stress the composer's naive piety, and his background as a church organist, and when it comes to "architecture" -- an almost unavoidable metaphor given the scale and density of his symphonies -- for them the structures will always be churches, or rather giant cathedrals in the ether. I can't help wondering what exactly these folks are listening to. The idea of Bruckner applying organ logic, or seeking organ sound, in his orchestration just seems to me nuts. This is a man who was deliriously obsessed with the range of expressive possibilities he could draw from a symphony orchestra -- this is the quality I would stress above all others as you listen to today's music, because I think even listening in computer-transmitted MP3 form you will find yourself drawn that way into its expressive core.

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major:
ii. Andante quasi Allegretto
(Walking pace but as if it were quickish)

Munich Philharmonic, Rudolf Kempe, cond. Live performance, c1975-76

Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam), Eugen Jochum, cond. Live performance, Jan. 16, 1975

I mentioned last week, when we heard the Adagio of the Bruckner Seventh, that I was tempted to start off with the slow movement of the Fourth, but that it isn't a true Bruckner Adagio, and that I thought as long as we were going to go for it, we ought to go for it. I don't want to call a true Bruckner Adagio "static" (would you describe the Adagio of the Seventh as "static"?), but it seems to me to have more the characteristic of observation or contemplation. First off, the slow movement of the Fourth isn't even literally an Adagio; it's marked the significantly less slow Andante -- and "quasi Allegretto" at that. This is a movement that really does move -- it seems almost to be a travelogue of some sort. For some reason Eugen Jochum (1902-1987) seems always to have had the measure of it, and I'm pleased to be able to share this broadcast performance with the Concertgebouw, along with the more straightforwardly quicker but still remarkably beautiful, clear-headed version by Rudolf Kempe (1910-1976).


It's hard to imagine any creative artist who doesn't have at least one "breakthrough" reflected in his or her work in the course of the career. In Bruckner's case, I don't think there's any question that it came with the Fourth Symphony, although -- since nothing came simply to him -- it didn't happen all at once. I've been trying like heck to avoid talking about the bewlidering matter of "editions" of Bruckner symphonies, but even with the Fourth, which comes closer than any to being performed in a single "standard" version, it's not the "original" version. Still, this is the symphony of Bruckner's that most behaves like a "normal" symphony, with four movements of manageable and more or less equal expressive weight. Consequently the Fourth is a meeting ground between the Bruckner Faithful and the take-it-or-leave-it types.

Maybe the most obvious point to make about the Scherzo is how physically capturing it is. It's "captivating" too, but I really mean something more physical here. It grabs hold of you and with the greatest pleasure won't let go.

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major:
iii. Scherzo: Bewegt (Animated) -- Trio: Nicht zu schnell. Keinesfalls schleppend. (Not too quick. Not at all dragging) -- Scherzo

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, cond. Lucerne Festival Edition, recorded live in Tokyo, Oct. 18-19, 2006

Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, cond. EMI, recorded Sept. and Nov. 1963

The Scherzo is the shortest of the symphony's four movements, and by its nature is a whole lot harder to stretch out than any of the others. Its performance range is pretty much 10-12 minutes. Our two performances represent something like the extremes, Otto Klemperer (1885-1973) at nearly 12 minutes, Claudio Abbado (born 1933) actually crashing the 10-minute lower "limit." I'm not sure I understand this impulse to speed the thing up -- at Klemperer's tempos it still sounds "fast," doesn't it? And the music has more room to really lock in its grip on the listener. No irreparable harm is done at the faster tempos, though, and even played this way, because of the music's sheer physicality, and the volume of sound generated, the movement seems to me to hold its own with the others.


BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major:
iv. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
(Animated, but not too fast)

Berlin Philharmonic, Günter Wand, cond. BMG, recorded Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 1998

Staatskapelle Dresden, Giuseppe Sinopoli, cond. DG, recorded September 1987

As I mentioned earlier, in his own time Bruckner attracted enthusiasts and even disciples. Clearly they were responding to the dimension of the music that really wasn't like anything they had heard before (with perhaps the exception of those forebears of the Brucknerian Adagio). But they still tended to think in conventional symphonic terms, and Bruckner's music never worked very well that way -- it's not the way his music was designed to work. On some level he must have had amazing inner confidence, just to continue pursuing his musical vision when almost nobody seemed to get it. What he didn't have, unfortunately, was the outer toughness to stand his ground and insist that yes, this was really what he meant, and while it may not always have worked on the first try, what he needed to do was find a better version of his way, not have well-meaning colleagues "help" him write his music the way they thought it should go.

That takes a lot of toughness, and Bruckner didn't have it. It was also a practical matter. If you write piano music or songs, and your music attracts any enthusiasts at all, it's not hard to find pianists or singers to at least give them a hearing -- so that both you and the public are able to hear them, both of which are awfully important both to the composer's own self-awareness and development and to the establishment of a reputation. However, if you write symphonies or operas, you've got to persuade symphony orchestras or opera companies to play them, and in Bruckner's case this came with even more "suggestions" as to how his symphonies could/should be "fixed." And so began a pattern of endless revisions, involving significant cutting, rewriting, and occasionally expanding.

The worst part of this is that there's really no way of separating revisions that Bruckner himself believed in, revisions that he might not have made on his own but that nevertheless are of genuine artistic value (something that often happens when creators make changes against their will and in the process find new inspirations), and revisions that were simply forced on him. We can certainly guess, and guesswork would be fine if we were dealing with individual performances, but music that is widely performed needs to have some kind of standard edition or editions, which are normally determined by publishers, which after a composer's (or writer's) death is taken out of his/her hands.

The unfortunate image we're left with is of Bruckner as naïf, this pious man of genius but of narrow vision and skill, being easily manipulated by others to produce hybrid works that only partly represent his own inner ear. At another time perhaps I'll try to explain my understanding of just how vast and far-seeing Bruckner's creative vision was. The irony is that today there would be an audience for it. Mahler, who followed in Bruckner's path writing "outsize" symphonies, not only had the benefit of observing Bruckner's example but had all the toughness that Bruckner lacked. When Mahler revised his works, as he did extensively, it was based on his own judgment, with feedback from a group of colleagues and disciples of better judgment than Bruckner's, and whose views would never have been allowed to supersede the composer's own.

Mahler, faced with a life of savage dismissal of his creative work, became famous for saying, "My time will yet come." I'm not sure even he would have guessed how true that turned out to be. It turned out to be true for Bruckner as well, just not as neatly.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Preview 2: In which we hear more of tomorrow's featured work

by Ken

Last night we heard a historic performance of a movement from a great symphony. Let's hear with a more up-to-date recording.

Now let's hear another movement from the same piece, from the newer recording:


We identify last night's and tonight's performances, and hear four stories about the whole piece.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Preview 1: Feel free to identify the music -- and, if you can, the conductor

[This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on January 8, 2010. By Sunday it should be clear why I've resurrected it.]

by Ken

Yes, this audio clip is in mono -- and we'll have another one [nope! change of plans -- Ed/] in a second preview tomorrow at 6pm PT/9pm ET, but Sunday's main-post offerings will be all stereo, and for this music, it does matter. For tonight's clip, it was necessary to return to mono years in order to represent this conductor. That might give you a clue as to his identity. (Yes, I'll give you that much: It is a man.)

Many of you will recognize the music, of course. It's hardly obscure. But I'm at least as interested in the reactions of those of you hearing it for the first time.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

In Gilbert and Sullivan's hands, a madrigal can be buoyant, or sad, or sad and funny

The end of the Sextet in the Off-Monroe Players' 2010 production of Patience

GILBERT and SULLIVAN: Patience: from the Act I finale, Lady Saphir, "Are you resolved to wed this shameless one? . . . Sextet with Chorus, "I hear the soft note"
LADY SAPHIR [coming left of BUNTHORNE]:
Are you resolved to wed this shameless one?
LADY ANGELA [coming right of BUNTHORNE]:
Is there no chance for any other?
BUNTHORNE [decisively]: None!

Sextet -- the Ladies Ella, Saphir, and Angela;
the Duke, Major, and Colonel

[ANGELA, SAPHIR, and ELLA take the COLONEL, DUKE, and MAJOR down, while GIRLS gaze fondly at other OFFICERS.]
I hear the soft note of the echoing voice
of an old, old love, long dead.
It whispers my sorrowing heart "Rejoice!"
for the last sad tear is shed.
The pain that is all but a pleasure will change
for the pleasure that's all but pain,
and never, oh never, this heart will range
from that old, old love again!
CHORUS: Yes, the pain that is all but a pleasure will change
for the pleasure that's all but pain,
and never, oh never, our hearts will range
from that old, old love again!
DUKE with CHORUS: Oh, never, oh never, our hearts will range
from that old, old love again!
SEXTET with CHORUS: Oh, never, oh never, our hearts will range
from that old, old love again!
[The GIRLS embrace the OFFICERS.]

Marorie Eyre (s), Lady Saphir; Nellie Briercliffe (ms), Lady Angela; George Baker (b), Reginald Bunthorne; Rita Mackay (s), Lady Ella; Derek Oldham (t), Lieut. the Duke of Dunstable: Martyn Green (b), Major Murgatroyd; Darrell Fancourt (bs), Colonel Calverley; D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Malcolm Sargent, cond. EMI, recorded Sept.-Nov. 1930

Beti Lloyd-Jones (s), Lady Saphir; Yvonne Newman (ms), Lady Angela; John Reed (b), Reginald Bunthorne; Jennifer Toye (s), Lady Ella; Philip Potter (t), Lieut. the Duke of Dunstable; John Cartier (b), Major Murgatroyd; Donald Adams (bs), Colonel Calverley; D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, New Symphony Orchestra of London, Isidore Godfrey, cond. Decca, recorded September 1961

Elizabeth Harwood (s), Lady Saphir; Marjorie Thomas (ms), Lady Angela; George Baker (b), Reginald Bunthorne; Heather Harper (s), Lady Ella; Alexander Young (t), Lieut. the Duke of Dunstable; John Shaw (b), Colonel Calverley; Trevor Anthony (bs), Major Murgatroyd; Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent, cond. EMI, recorded Oct. 17-20, 1961

by Ken

What we've just heard is a repeat performance, from a September post called "In Patience, 'The pain that is all but a pleasure will change for the pleasure that's all but pain'" -- which also referred back to an earlier post, "Poor Arthur Sullivan never knew how well he had succeeded as a 'serious' composer."