The World Record Club Mikado (1962)
The Linden Singers
World Record Club TT119
This recording of substantial highlights was first issued in 1962 or so and has been frequently re-issued over the years.
Seth Schneider pointed out that the n----- word in the list song is replaced with "banjo," yet the word is retained in "A more humane Mikado." As Seth observed, "I can't recall any other recording to have this inconsistency."
The selections include:
- Introduction & Opening Chorus
- "A wandering minstrel"
- "Our great Mikado"
- "Behold the Lord High Executioner"
- "I've got a little list"
- "Three little maids from school"
- "I am so proud"
- Finale Act I
- "The sun whose rays"
- "Brightly dawns our wedding day"
- "Here's a how-de-do"
- "Mi-ya sa-ma"/"From every kind of man"
- "A more humane Mikado"
- "The criminal cried"
- "The flowers that bloom in the spring"
- "On a tree by a river"
- "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast"
- Finale Act II
Vox STPL 516.130
Although this recording is far from complete, being only selected highlights, that which is featured is excellent. The music is performed with real gusto, while still retaining subtlety, where it is required. In addition, it is played at a cracking pace, much faster than the Sargent recording and similar to that of the 1939 film. It is odd that this wonderful rendition was conducted by the same man who produced the music on the fairly mediocre Brent Walker videos.
David Craft is superb as Ko Ko. His diction cannot be faulted, and he puts expression into the lyrics while not going too far, as Richard Suart, for example, is sometimes prone to do. He sounds to me like a born patter baritone, and I was surprised to learn that this recording, together with similar productions of Gondoliers and Pirates, was his only connection with Gilbert and Sullivan. I would love to hear him sing the 'Nightmare Song' from Iolanthe.
All the other performers are very good, and the Mikado has a terrific chuckle in "A More Humane Mikado," although, be warned, the word "nigger" is retained in that song, although not in "List." One criticism in that the Act One finale has the middle section ripped out of it, perhaps so that when it is repeated in the act two finale, the "He's gone and married Yum Yum" song sounds fresh.
All in all, first rate, despite its very incomplete nature.
|1962||World Record Club||Mono LP||T119|
|1963||Delta||Mono LP||TQD 3045||Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards," with no credit to conductor or orchestra|
|Stereo LP||SQD 112|
|196-?||VOX||Mono LP||VBX 251||Three-record set, also including Pirates and The Gondoliers|
|Stereo LP||SVBX 5251|
|196-?||VOX||Mono LP||PL16-130||Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards"|
|Stereo LP||STPL 516.130|
|1976||DJM||Stereo LP||DJLMD 8021||Two-record set comprising all three World Record Club recordings|
|1977||Summit||Mono LP||SUM 1046|
|1983||Allegro/Allegretto||Stereo Cassette||ACS 8116|
|1990s||Tring||CD||SYM072||Performers given as Alex Faris, the Linden Singers, and the Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra|
|STCD058||Two-CD set, also includes Pirates|