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Gilbert & Sullivan: Iolanthe

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Fat Double (a 2.5cm thick jewel case, fits several
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Gilbert & Sullivan: Iolanthe
Gilbert & Sullivan: Iolanthe


FIRST RELEASE ON DECCA CD The D'Oyly Carte Company began its association with Decca after World War II, embarking on a series of recordings in the late 1940s and early 50s of the major Savoy Operas. A subsequent stereo-era cycle, begun in 1957, was followed in turn by a new series of which the present 1974 recording of Iolanthe is part of; in many respects, it is superior to its 1960 predecessor. Whereas the former set had used an ad-hoc orchestra, one of the glories of this remake is the contribution of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - immediately apparent from the atmospheric strings at the start of the overture (one of the few which Sullivan composed himself) and the brilliant woodwind playing in its fleet-footed dancing passages. Even though the RPO is far larger than the pit bands Sullivan composed for and conducted, it is a rare treat to hear one of his richest scores rendered so sumptuously under the assured baton of Royston Nash (company Music Director from 1971 to 1979). Lead comedian John Reed's reprisal of the Lord Chancellor is a more confident performance than on the 1960 set. He is supported by a generally excellent cast. The lovers Phyllis and Strephon benefit from the fine voices and lively personalities of Pamela Field and Michael Raynor. Field's silvery soprano, in particular, is a great asset. Lyndsie Holland, who presided over the 'old dame' contralto roles from 1971 to 1977, is a commanding Fairy Queen, outwardly stern but with an irrepressibly warm heart. Judi Merri's title role portrayal is ideally elfin, and her emotional involvement is affecting. A prodigy of Dame Eva Turner, Merri has an impressively full mezzo voice, although it can sometimes come across as a little overpowering on this recording. Stentorian bass-baritone John Ayldon oozes superciliousness as the unctuous Lord Mountararat, and Kenneth Sandford - John Reed's only rival for company longevity and much-loved status - makes the most of his cameo as Private Willis.


  1. Name
  2. Overture / Tripping Hither, Tripping Thither / Iolanthe! From Thy Dark Exile
  3. Good Morrow, Good Mother / Fare Thee Well, Attractive Stranger
  4. Good Morrow, Good Lover / None Shall Part Us From Each Other
  5. Loudly Let The Trumpet Bray / The Law Is The True Embodiment
  6. My Well Loved Lord And Guardian Dear / Nay, Tempt Me Not
  7. Spurn Not The Nobly Born / My Lords, It May Not Be! / When I Went To The Bar
  8. Finale Act One: When Darkly Looms The Day / The Gentleman Is Seen
  9. For Riches And Rank I Do Not Long / The Lady Of My Love Has Caught Me
  10. Go Away Madam / Oh! Chancellor Unwary / Henceforth, Strephon, Cast Away
  11. With Strephon For Your Foe
  12. When All Night Long / Strephons A Member of Parliament! / When Britain Really Ruld The Waves
  13. In Vain To Us You Plead / Oh, Foolish Fay / Thopraps I May Incur Your Blame
  14. Love, Unrequited, Robs Me Of My Rest / If You Go In / Fold Your Flapping Wings
  15. If Were Weak Enough To Tarry / My Lord, A Suppliant At Your Feet I Kneel
  16. It May Not Be For So The Fates Decide! / Finale Act Two: Soon As We May
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