2 Disk LP Set
Condition: Near Mint condition, a great example.
Sleeve: Good aside from usual yellow fade around the edges, LP2 sleeve could do with a little adhesive but nothing else significant
September 1960 studio recording made in London.
When new, the series of G&S recordings that includes this "Iolanthe" was generally regarded as being at the leading edge of commercial analogue stereo. The digital remastering carried out in the late 1990s was generally successful and the sound on these CDs will be perfectly satisfactory to anyone but hyper-finicky audiophiles.
Lord Chancellor - John Reed (patter baritone)
Earl Mountararat - Donald Adams (bass-baritone)
Earl Tolloller - Thomas Round (tenor)
Private Willis - Kenneth Sandford (bass-baritone)
Strephon - Alan Styler (baritone)
Queen of the Fairies - Gillian Knight (mezzo-soprano)
Iolanthe - Yvonne Newman (mezzo-soprano)
Celia - Jennifer Toye (soprano)
Leila - Pauline Wales (soprano)
Fleta - Dawn Bradshaw (speaking part)
Phyllis - Mary Sansom (soprano).
Isadore Godfrey with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, the New Symphony Orchestra of London and the Band of the Grenadier Guards.
This recording captures the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company--the production company founded by Gilbert, Sullivan and their producer, Richard D'Oyly Carte--at the height of its 1960s form. At its core were stars still held fondly in the hearts of many G&S afficionados: John Reed, Kenneth Sandford, Thomas Round, Donald Adams and Gillian Knight. It was certainly a very sound cast and, naturally, the most experienced in the world in this repertory. This performance is in the classic D'Oyly Carte tradition which stretches back directly to the days when genial Sullivan conducted from the pit of the Savoy Theatre and glowering Gilbert directed the performers on stage.
This "Iolanthe" is unquestionably more brisk than the contemporary and rival version conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. From the outset, however the Sargent series was widely criticized as being overly lugubrious. This recording is a fair presentation of the tempo of the actual DCOC stage production as I remember it. It is about the same as the 1950s recorded version and, if anything, a bit slower than the 1930s version.
Overall, this is a good stereo "Iolanthe." It showcases the absolutely authentic performing tradition for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.