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CD Review

Gilbert & Sullivan

Bunthorne's Bride

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
New Symphony Orchestra of London/Isidore Godfrey
Decca 473647-2 112m ADD
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The G&S operettas provide us with a seamless flow of beautiful music and some very fine singing although some have remained much more famous than others. 'Patience' is one of those which may seem to be on the sidelines, but this is certainly most unjust as this legendary 1961 recording demonstrates.

The recordings of Isidore Godfrey generally included dialogue and this is the case wit this work. Although this can be occasionally pretty boring, the effort for completists is definitely worth a shout. However at least half an hour of total playing time is handed over to this dilly dallying and this also reduces the musical enjoyment.

Godfrey opens with an expansive reading of the Overture that also leads into the gorgeous chorus, 'Twenty love-sick maidens, we'. The D'Oyly Carte troupe perform quite memorably throughout and bring much charm and effusion to proceedings. Comparison with Sir Malcolm Sargent's EMI recording is instructive but I do feel that Godfrey and his Decca sound do carry away the day with flying colours.

Indeed, the Decca sound is well nigh astonishing for 1961 with minimal background hiss and a stunning acoustic. The notes are simply a short synopsis and do not include any recording information details. Apart from these minor snags, this remains the 'Patience' to acquire.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech