- Performer: D'Oyle Carte Opera Company
- Conductor: John Pryce-Jones
- Composer: Gilbert & Sullivan
- Audio CD (October 19, 1993)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Sony
- ASIN: B0000029KH
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Gondoliers
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Top Customer Reviews
Well worth the investment, even if you have the excellent 1960 recording.
This CD contains excellent performances by John Rath as Don Alhambra, Jill Pert as the Duchess of Plaza-Toto and the usual fine comic performance by Richard Suart as the Duke of Plaza-Toro.
The score is particularly fine, with Sullivan showing his mastery of many musical types, as the liner notes indicate, such as the waltz, the gavotte, the saltarello and the tarantello. It is a very vibrant and upbeat score.
The libretto is very clever, and Gilbert's sense of satire is never sharper than here. There are amusing songs as the democratic Gondoliers make Barataria into a model of social equality, and the Duke and Duchess relate the story of their product endorsements -- like the Mikado, all the satires are really about Victorian England, not about the land in which the stories are staged.
The story's plot relies on a typical Gilbert device -- babies "switched at birth" make one of the two Gondoliers -- no one is sure which one -- the rightful King of Barataria, promised to the Duke's daughter, Casilda. This interferes with the Gondoliers' plan to marry their sweethearts, and provides much of the humor as the Gondoliers attempt to adjust to their new social position. There is, of course, the usual Gilbertian plot twist at the end to resolve everything happily.
This is a very fun opera to listen to; with almost none of the wistfulness that haunts the Mikado, Pinafore, or the Yeomen of the Guard.
Gilbert and Sullivan acknowledged to one another at the time of its first performance that this was a work of lasting value, one that could win them century-long fame. And though their reputation has not hung upon this work, it rightly should have. First of all, the story itself, though typically far-fetched, is more coherent than that of any of the other savoy operas. The ending, for the first and only time in the G&S corpus, is actually believable. Next, the characters are among the most interesting Gilbert created. In particular, the gondolier-king brothers, Marco and Giuseppe and their brides Giunetta and Tessa, though "distinctly dunderheaded," are certainly Gilbert's most sympathetic heroes and heroines. No audience can really care about Ralph and Josephine, or about Frederic and Mabel, much less about Yum-Yum and Nanki Poo. Here at last are characters who win our sympathy even as we laugh at them.
Gilbert's lyrics have seldom, if ever, been wittier. And Sullivan's music is almost uniformly fine. There are a number of songs that can stand alongside the most popular show-stoppers from the better known operas, in fact so many that I hesitate to begin listing them because it will be hard not to include a dozen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely satisfide with this copy of Gilbert & Sullivans " The Gondoliers" and I have no doubt I will be ordering other G&S works in the futurePublished on November 5, 2012 by mr, J. Massey
This "Gondoliers" was one of my very first G&S recordings. I paid I-don't-know-how-much for it, and it called up only 'modified rapture'. Read morePublished on July 21, 2011 by Scott Farrell
Even though this is a used product, it's in great shape and I feel confortable gifting it to someone else! Thanks!Published on December 16, 2010 by LK