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Gilbert & Sullivan: The Gondoliers

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 19, 1993
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Overture
  2. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: List And Learn
  3. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Good Morrow, Pretty Maids
  4. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: For The Merriest Fellows Are We
  5. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Buon Giorno, Signorine
  6. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: We're Called Gondolieri
  7. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: And Now To Choose Our Brides
  8. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: My Papa, He Keeps Three Horses
  9. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Thank You, Gallant Gondolieri
  10. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: From The Sunny Spanish Shore
  11. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: In The Enterprise On Martial Kind
  12. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: O Rapture, When Alone Together
  13. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: There Was A Time, A Time Forever Gone
  14. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: I Stole The Prince, ANd I Brought Him Here
  15. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: But Bless My Heart
  16. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Try We Life Long
  17. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: Bridegroom And Bride
  18. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1: When A Merry Maiden Marries
  19. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1, Finale: Kind Sir, You Cannot Have The Heart
  20. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1, Finale: Then One Of Us Will Be A Queen
  21. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1, Finale: For Ev'ry One Who Feels Inclined
  22. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1, Finale: Now, Marco Dear, My Wishes Hear
  23. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 1, Finale: Then Away They Go To An Island Fair

Disc: 2

  1. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Oh Happiness The Very Pith In Barataria
  2. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Rising Early In The Morning
  3. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Take A Pair Of Sparkling Eyes
  4. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Here We Are, At The Risk Of Our Lives
  5. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Dance A Cachucha
  6. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: There Lived A King
  7. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: In A Contemplative Fashion
  8. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: With Ducal Pomp And Ducal Pride
  9. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: On The Day When I Was Wedded
  10. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: To Help Unhappy Commoners
  11. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: I Am A Courtier Grave And Serious
  12. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Here Is A Case Unprecedented
  13. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Now Let The Loyal Lieges Gather Round
  14. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: This Statement We Recieve
  15. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Act 2: Once More Gondolieri


Product Details

  • 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: #66,359 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on July 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
There are two strong rivals for this set. The early electric set transferred from 78 rpms onto Pearl CDs is suberb--the closest we will ever get to what Gilbert wanted in articulation and characterization and to what Sullivan wanted in vocal style--but is of course subjected to the sonics state of the art circa 1930. But to understand what this opera is all about, this is the choice of choices! The complete version on Decca has all the dialogue...which might or might not be a Good Thing on repeated hearings. And, no, you cannot program it out since Decca decided to contain it on the same tracks as the music that precedes it. So if all you want is the musical parts and stereo is a must, this Sony/Columbia set is wonderfully paced, well characterized (though not as well as the early electric set) and well conducted. And in case you do not know, this work is even more tuneful than "The Mikado"--which is saying a lot. And by the way, try the "Iolanthe" in this same series, but not "The Mikado" (which is far too rushed).
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Format: Audio CD
Sullivan's score to The Gondoliers has been the object of a good deal of tampering over the years, and as is the case with all of the D'Oyly Carte's more recent efforts, an attempt has been made to return to the autograph. What we hear in this set is Sullivan's original introduction, minus the cachuca which was tacked on in the 1930s. The original is vastly more effective. There are other points of interest, such as the almost supernaturally crisp chorus - sample them in the "Thank you gallant gondolieri" in the first act. The cast is, as usual with D'Oyly Carte, first rate, with John Rath and Jill Pert standouts. Rarely have I heard Don Alhambra's arias sung with such panache. Rath even gives Donals Adams and Darrell Fancourt a run for their money.
Well worth the investment, even if you have the excellent 1960 recording.
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Format: Audio CD
The Gondoliers was the last Gilbert and Sullivan opera to be a great popular success; listening to this version of the opera as performed by the D'Oyly Carte shows why: it is a highly entertaining score, with warm characters and a lot of humor.
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.
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If all you know of G&S is the "big three" (i.e., H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado), you are missing much. Patience, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, Trial by Jury: each of these lesser known operas is delightful in its own way, and each has its partisans in the dispute over which is the best G&S creation. As much as I love all of the foregoing, I find Gondoliers to be the most perfect and most enjoyable of all.

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.
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