D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Gilbert & Sullivan: The Yeoman of the Guard & Trial by Jury [1964 Recordings]

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This is a reissue of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's 1964 recording of Yeomen of the Guard, which did not include dialog. On the one hand, without the dialog, you don't have a clear picture of the characters. On the other, you have a chance to hear uninterrupted some of the most interesting music, both orchestral and vocal, Sullivan ever wrote for an operetta. It isn't as well-known because compared to Gilbert and Sullivan's other collaborations, the humor is darker, the story and music more serious, and the nature of the characters more ambiguous. Elsie is performed beautifully by Elizabeth Harwood as a rather sympathetic character. Jack Point, portrayed by John Reed, sounds like a rejected lover seeking revenge in "Hereupon We're Both Agreed," but in the reprise of "I Have a Song to Sing, O" in the finale, he is more pathetic. Reed does not add extra idiosyncrasies to "Oh, a Private Buffoon," and overall, the company's performance is serious and straightforward, with fewer liberties taken with the music. However, in Trial by Jury, also on this disc and from the same year, they sound like they are having fun and do add some idiosyncrasies to the characterizations. Reed, as the judge, is very entertaining and so are Donald Adams, as the usher, and the chorus. Malcolm Sargent conducts Yeomen, while Isidore Godfrey conducts Trial. The only other thing that may be a disappointment is the engineering of Yeomen, which sometimes allows the orchestra to overpower the vocalists. Taken together, if not completely compelling, these are still enjoyable recordings.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Yeomen of the Guard (The Merryman and his Maid), operetta
1 4:14
2 2:38
3 1:49
4 2:39
5 2:48
6 3:43
7 3:43
8 2:55
9 1:57
10 10:04
Trial by Jury, operetta
11 3:57
12 5:31
13 4:12
14 4:59
15 4:03
16 2:47
17 2:54
18 4:39
blue highlight denotes track pick