This sparkling rendition of HMS Pinafore really is a joy to listen to. Mackerras and the Welsh National Opera bring a freshness to the piece that is lacking in other more stylised recordings. Lyrics and music are well balanced and the orchestra and performers bring some musical clout to one or two of the more serious numbers, but without losing the overall sense of fun and lightheartedness of the rest of the piece. The rendition of the lyrics and music is so fresh that it is hard to believe that this was written over a century ago - you sense you can hear the beginnings of the modern musical. Mackerras is also particularly good at judging the tempo of each number. Among the main soloists there is not a weak link, with some beautiful singing and great characterisation. One final point: there is no dialogue - this is probably a plus as I find that G&S (and other) show dialogues rarely sound good in recordings. I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to G&S.