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Price comparison product image Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado (Complete Music) [Marion Studholme, Patricia Kern, Jean Allister, Clive Revill, John Wakefield, John Holmes, John Heddle Nash, Patricia Kern; Sadler's Wells Orchestra and Chorus; Alexander Faris, Conductor] AND Iolanthe (Highlights / Selections /Excerpts / Scenes) [Patricia Kern, Elizabeth Harwood, Denis Dowling, Eric Shilling, Stanley Bevan, Heather Begg, Julian Moyle; Sadler's Wells Orchestra and Chorus; Alexander Faris, Conductor]

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado (Complete Music) [Marion Studholme, Patricia Kern, Jean Allister, Clive Revill, John Wakefield, John Holmes, John Heddle Nash, Patricia Kern; Sadler's Wells Orchestra and Chorus; Alexander Faris, Conductor] AND Iolanthe (Highlights / Selections /Excerpts / Scenes) [Patricia Kern, Elizabeth Harwood, Denis Dowling, Eric Shilling, Stanley Bevan, Heather Begg, Julian Moyle; Sadler's Wells Orchestra and Chorus; Alexander Faris, Conductor]

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On EMI Classics for Pleasure; 2 CD's; This magnificent release remedies the long time absence from the catalogue of what many consider the best recording of "The Mikado." Sensibly combined with the contemporaneous highlights from "Iolanthe" it makes a formidable first choice in "Mikado" recordings. At the core of the performances are some of the finest English singers active in the early 1960's, all of whom were chosen not just for their singing, but for their sense of the theatricality and humor of Gilbert and Sullivan. Just listen, for example, to how John Heddle Nash given full expression to every word of Pish-Tush's "Our great Mikado, virtuous man." In both "Mikado" and "Iolanthe," Denis Dowling, as Pooh-Bah and Mountarat, is a tower of strength as is Patricia Kern as both Pitti-Sing and Iolanthe. Here in this set, too, are Marion Studholme's delicious Yum-Yum and Elizabeth Harwood's joyous Phyllis. If one singles out Clive Revill for special mention, it is because his Ko-Ko is uniquely well judged and imaginative, combining superb comic timing, verbal clarity, and vocal dexterity. His "little list" is hilarious, and one can almost feel one's hand gripped at the words "shake hands with you like that." As well, Jean Allister's Katisha is quite wonderful. At the helm of both works is Alexander Faris, who was quite at home in the pit at Sadler's Wells with G&S, and who knew supremely well how to capture the lightness and sparkle of this delightful music. "Now please you sirs," for instance, goes like a dream. The new overture put together for "The Mikado" by Stephen Dodgson (Sullivan did not write one) may come as a surprise, but it is apt and cleverly done. No one could fail to be captivated by these marvelous performances that belong in every collection. It should be noted that this "Mikado," like every other "complete" recording of this work, includes all the music but no dialogue.

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