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Gilbert & Sullivan – The Mikado (FLAC)

Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado (FLAC)
Gilbert & Sullivan - The Mikado (FLAC)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Telarc
Size: 342 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

The Mikado (The Town of Titipu), operetta
Composed by Arthur Sullivan
Performed by Welsh National Opera Orchestra
with Richard van Allan, Donald Adams, Richard Suart, Anne Howells, Felicity Palmer, Nicholas Folwell, Janice Watson, Marie McLaughlin, Anthony Rolfe Johnson
Conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras

01. Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado: Song and Chorus – Nanki-Poo (A Wandering Mistrel I)
02. Song and Chorus – Nanki-Poo (A wandering mistrel I )
03. Song – Pish-Tush and Chorus (Our great Mikado, virtuous man)
04. Song – Pooh-Bah with Nanki-Poo and Pish-Tush (Young man, despair, likewise go to)
05. Recitative – Nanki-Poo and Pooh-Bah (And have I journeyed for a month)
06. Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado: Chorus with Solo – Ko-Ko (Behold the Lord High Executioner)
07. Song – Ko-Ko with Chorus of Nobles (As some day it may happen) “List Song”
08. Chorus of Schoolgirls (Comes A Train Of Little Ladies)
09. Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado: Trio – Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing with Chorus of Schoolgirls (Three little maids from school are we)
10. Quartet – Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo, Pitti-Sing and Pooh-Bah, with Chorus of Schoolgirls (So please you, sire, we much regret)
11. Duet – Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo (Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted)
12. Trio – Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko and Pish-Tush (I am so proud)
13. Finale, Act One (With aspect stern and gloomy stride)
14. Solo – Pitti-Sing and Chorus of Schoolgirls (Braid the raven hair)
15. Song – Yum-Yum (The sun, whose rays are all ablaze)
16. Madrigal – Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, Nanki-Poo and Pish-Tush (Brightly dawns our wedding day)
17. Trio – Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko (Here’s a how-de-do! If I marry you!)
18. Entrance of Mikado and Katisha (Miya sama, miya sama)
19. Song – Mikado and Chorus (A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist)
20. Trio and Chorus – Ko-Ko, Pitti-Sing, Pooh-Bah and Chorus (The criminal cried as he dropped him down)
21. Quintet – Pitti-Sing, Katisha, Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and Mikado (See how the Fates their gifts allot)
22. Duet – Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko with Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing and Pooh-Bah (The flowers that bloom in the spring)
23. Recitative and Song – Katisha (Alone, and yet alive)
24. Song – Ko-Ko (On a tree by a river, a little torn-tit sang, “Willow, tit-willow”)
25. Duet – Katisha and Ko-Ko ((There is beauty in the bellow of the blast)
26. Finale, Act Two (For he’s gone and married Yum-Yum)

Excellent Musicianship, Excellent Value

Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has always been a champion of the music of Arthur Sullivan. In the early ’90’s, he began to record the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with Telarc. Like the Sargent recordings of the ’50’s, Mackerras uses mostly opera singers–veterans of Covent Garden and of the English and Welsh National Operas–but he secured the services of two veteran Savoyards, Richard Suart and the late Donald Adams. Mackerras planned to record at least seven of the Savoy operas, perhaps more, but was forced to suspend the series–due to lack of funding as I understand. This fine recording of The Mikado, fortunately, was one of the four he was able to complete.
Musically, this is a superb album. It is good to have Adams’ famous portrayal of the Mikado in a splendid digital recording, and Suart, D’Oyly Carte’s “patter” specialist at that time, is a superb Ko-Ko. Anthony Rolfe Johnson is a marvelous Nanki-Poo, and the veteran Richard Van Allan is a capable Pooh-Bah. The other singers are less well-known, but generally very good. Nicholas Folwell stands out as Pish-Tush, with a ringing “Our great Mikado” and a rock-firm contribution to the “cheap and chippy chopper” trio. Mackerras conducts superbly, with generally brisk tempi, but able to relax the pace when the situation calls for it–e.g, in the last part of the “little list” song, where his pacing allows Suart to emphasize the “apologetic statesmen” segment.
None of the dialogue is included, and there are a few cuts to the score, most notably the second verse of the “little list.” The less than memorable overture is also eliminated. The plus side of these cuts is that the entire operetta fits onto a single CD–an excellent value.
If your primary interest is in a well sung and played “Mikado,” this recording is a likely first choice. Even if you are in the “must have the dialogue” camp, or you simply can’t do without Ko-Ko’s reference to “that singular anomaly, the lady novelist,” you’ll probably find this an enjoyable supplement to other recordings.

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