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Gilbert & Sullivan: The Sorcerer


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Audio CD, October 12, 2004
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Gilbert & Sullivan: The Sorcerer + Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan
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Disc: 1
1. The Sorcerer: Overture
2. The Sorcerer, Act One: Ring forth, ye bells
3. The Sorcerer, Act One: Constance, my daughter, why this strange depression?
4. The Sorcerer, Act One: Oh, mother, do not ask!
5. The Sorcerer, Act One: When he is here
6. The Sorcerer, Act One: The air is charged with amatory numbers
7. The Sorcerer, Act One: Time was when love and I were well aquainted
8. The Sorcerer, Act One: Sir Marmaduke - My dear young friend, Alexis
9. The Sorcerer, Act One: (Minuet)
10. The Sorcerer, Act One: With heart and with voice
See all 39 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Oh my voice is sad and low
2. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Oh, joyous boon! Oh, mad delight!
3. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Alas! That lovers thus should meet
4. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Prepare for sad surprises
5. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Or he or I must die!
6. The Sorcerer, Act Two: So be it! I submit! My fate is sealed
7. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Oh, my adored one!
8. The Sorcerer, Act Two: Now to the banquet we press
9. Martyn Green: I am the very model of a modern Major-General
10. Martyn Green: When I was a lad I served a term
See all 33 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, Martyn Green, Danny Kaye
  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Avid Records UK
  • ASIN: B0002Z9YKU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
71%
4 star
29%
3 star
0%
2 star
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1 star
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See all 7 customer reviews
This performance has always been one of my favorites of this opera.
Charles L. Duval
As for the star attraction of this set, the first complete recording of "The Sorcerer" by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, it's nice to have it on CD as well.
David Cellitti
I want to single out Martyn Green for his great contribution to these G&S works.
JRJoseph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David Cellitti on January 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The most attractive reason to purchase this collection is to acquire the Danny Kaye pieces. These recordings were made in the late 1940's before the Operas feel into public domain and were greeted with horror by many diehard Savoyards. In light of what was to follow once the copyrights expired it's hard to fathom the outrage they once inspired. They are a great deal of fun and no more sacrilegious than Joseph Papp's synthesized score for "Pirates of Penzance" or any one of the souped-up versions of "The Mikado" one is likely to see these days. For Danny Kaye aficionados as well as the dedicated Savoyard they are indispensable. The technicians have done an amazing job of mastering and they certainly sound better than the 78's and scratchy 10" LP they were originally issued on!

It's also nice to have Martyn Green's 1950's Columbia collection of patter songs on CD. Most selections duplicate what he accomplished on the Decca series of D'Oyly Carte recordings that were made following the war; but the inclusion of The Judges Song from "Trial by Jury" and the two songs for King Gama from "Princess Ida" give us a glimpse into roles he never recorded. The only drawback is the very American sounding chorus that accompanies Mr. Green on many of the songs.

As for the star attraction of this set, the first complete recording of "The Sorcerer" by The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, it's nice to have it on CD as well. Many will prefer the sonics of the later D'Oyly Carte stereo recording, but Muriel Harding does make a fetching Aline and Peter Pratt is awfully good as John Wellington Wells. Point by point I've always felt the two D'Oyly Carte recordings were really neck-and-neck, but the addition of the Danny Kaye and Martyn Green supplements really push this into the CD to buy if you're only looking to collect a single recording of this work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Duval on January 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This performance has always been one of my favorites of this opera. Peter Pratt is very cool as J.W. Wells. But the real treat of this recording is the selection of patter songs by the inimitable Martyn Green. I have heard negative things for years about the Danny Kaye recordings, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed them (except, perhaps, "The Moon and I", which is a girl's song, and very different from this version). Martyn Green himself liked them, which is good enough for me. I especially liked his Bunthorne and his Duke of Plaza Toro.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Col William Russell (ret) on September 28, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The performance of "Sorcerer" has been available on a number of releases so the treasure are the recitals by Green and Kaye. They're also an interesting contrast. Green is strictly "as written" which is as it should be and Kaye's is a modernized version by his wife Sylvia Fine. They work. She observes the music and doesn't violate it and the text is actually quite delightful, even for a G&S purist like me.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Honestly, I bought this just for the second half of the second disc -- and it's well worth the price. Five stars for Danny Kaye doing G&S!

The rest of it was, you know, fine, if you like that kind of thing. 3 stars for that part. The Sorcerer has its moments, and Martyn Green is a fine singer with a rich voice and complex shadings. Fundamentally, though, there are those who view Gilbert & Sullivan as Opera, and those who, like me, view it as early musical theatre. Martyn Green is more of the Opera school. Unlike some performers he does understand, thank goodness, that these are meant to be comic songs, and he has the skill to play opera that way. But where Green and the D'oyly Carte company in which he made his home are droll and occasionally whimsical, Danny Kaye is FUNNY. He charges into these songs the same way he attacks all songs and roles - as a dare to see how fast he can reduce the audience to helpless laughter. As always, he succeeds. And it's greatly to his credit (see what I did there?) that he never does violence to the purpose of the song or the essence of the character. He goes for the laughs, but not for cheap laughs.

For instance, Admiral Sir Joseph Porter as a drunk? Not something I would expect to see in a D'oyly Carte production -- but it fits the character, and it really brings home the satire of an Admiral explaining, to the officers and men who have to treat him as divinity, that he got there by brown-nosing instead of wasting his life like them. That Danny Kaye does a hilarious drunk act is just icing on the cake.

Oh, and the sound quality is great. I had a third-generation copy of the decades-out-of-print vinyl version of this once, because that was the only version there was. SO glad they reissued it!
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