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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 23893 times)
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« Reply #630 on: June 18, 2018, 01:02:54 pm »

Unfortunately,one half of the recording of The Grand Duke is actually the D'Oyly Carte recording! Sad

But which half, as Strephon was heard to wonder? 

"What's to become of my upper half when I've buried my lower half I really don't know! ... You see they're two to one, which is a strong working majority. Queen. Don't let that distress you."
Quite! Grin

Incidentally,after saying that they were all in very clear mono,I should point out that the 1966 recording of Utopia Limited,which I hadn't listened to,is not! I had to turn the bass controls on my mini hi-fi to 0 and my treble control to it's maximum setting. After this I was finally able to enjoy the,less than crystal clear,recording! But at least it was all there!! Funnily enough,I am beginning to warm,more and more,in the direction of some of the Ohio Light Opera recordings (on Newport Classics and latterly,the Albany label). These have 'complete' dialogue and have provoked a,decidedly mixed,and often hostile reception from G & S devotees. Yet,on my recent (ongoing) traversal of G & S recordings in my collection,it is the OLO that often seem to make the most favourable impression on me. At least among recordings with dialogue,anyway! For example,Princess Ida,which has never been a favourite of mine. Yet,after listening to the Malcolm Sargent recording (with the D'Oyly Carte) and the two BBC recordings,from 1966 & 1989,respectively,it was the Ohio Light Opera recording which made the most favourable impression on me. For once I found myself listening to,and actually enjoying the dialogue,instead of "switching off" through large passages of it (and I'm pro dialogue!!). Yes,some of the singing on the OLO sets can be variable (why are the women always so good,though?!) but,while the singing on the D'Oyly Carte and BBC recordings,to some extent,is obviously more consistent,it does seem to me as if some kind of torpor seems to set in at times?

In this respect I have found some of the Ohio Light Opera recordings a,veritable,breath of fresh air! Also,as well as finding it amusing,and strangely fascinating,to hear Americans performing such a hallowed British (English?) institution as G & S,I can't help wondering if some of the hostility from G & S devotees (groupies?! Grin) is the fact that Americans should have the temerity to perform,record,and thus defile,these illustrious products of Empire?!! In fact,some of the comments on the main G & S website,do strike me as,downright,catty;as opposed to constructive criticism (which is fair enough). For instance (in a review of their recording of The Mikado) referring to Julie Wright (Associate Artistic Director of Ohio Light Opera) as "her ladyship"! As to the American accents slipping in,now and again? I actually don't mind that much;as long as the performances are good. That's what is most important to me! Most of the time their English accents are very convincing to my ears. And done with aplomb! They must have practiced for some time. I can almost imagine them speaking to their wife,or husband,in english accents,at home,just to make sure they get them right!! And waiting for the intrusion of an American accent is probably part of the fun of listening to these recordings! I also like the feeling of being in a theatre,as opposed to a sterile studio. (Although,it is obvious some of these recordings aren't quite what they are made out to be!)
Their recording of Ruddigore is,easily,the most "fun" I have ever heard! (The 1966 BBC recording the all time best). I even enjoyed the Monty Python "women" voices!! And yet,I wasn't too keen on some of their recordings when I first heard them,either! I may even invest in some more,now? (New prices are frightening,yuo have to look for them s/h!) I also really enjoyed their recording of Victor Herbert's The Red Mill. Quite a find,imho! Often described as a Sullivan without a Gilbert! The Irish recently recorded his operetta,Eileen! It has received enthusiastic reviews.

But that's another story,for another post!! Grin
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