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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 23894 times)
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« Reply #630 on: June 29, 2018, 11:46:14 am »

The Ohio Light Opera 'complete' recording of Lionel Monckton(1861-1924) & Howard Talbot's The Arcadians (1909). I remember getting rid of this set because of the uneven casting. I decided instead,to make do with the 1960's emi excerpts,which are better sung! Or are they?! Well,yes,but problem! Where is the fun of the piece? Whatever the failings of this recording (many!) it does at capture some of the gaiety and humour of the piece. Also,the women,as in some of the other sets,in these unevenly cast series of recordings are actually very good! For example,cast member,Amy Warchol's lovely rendition of "Erins a spot" ("the dear little girl with a bit of a brogue"). A lovely creamy sound to her voice,and I always think is such a lovely song. I love the way the men join in with the chorus,too! The Arcadians has been described,very well,as operetta meets the (Edwardian) music hall. A very apt description. This is what marks it out from all the other post Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. One minute it's G & S style warbling,then it's like Marie Lloyd,or Burlington Bertie gatecrashed the proceedings!! (Think,Good old Days,with Leonard Sachs and Edwardian gents with Cocker-nee accents! You even get a cockney number "All down Picadilly",performed here,with probably the worst cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (worse?!!)! So bad it is entertaining! But the rum-ti-tum music hall style chorus is genuinely rousing. You can almost visualise the audience joining in! For my money,the best of all the post G & S operettas. The tunes are just great,and it has none of that fey quality that detracts from Edward German's,admittedly,rather charming efforts. There is an earthy,slighly raucous originality here which really does mark it out from the crowd. Sadly,the perfect recording has never been made. And maybe,now,it never will? I prefer some dialogue too;because the plot,is rather fun (Jim's plane crashes in Arcadia.Jim is transformed into shepherd,Simplicitas. Accompanied by two nymphs,returns to London,to preach Arcadian values of truth & simplicity. Londoners prefer romance,horse racing and,fashionable,restaurants!!) In a perfect world someone would have uploaded a really top-notch off-air BBC radio recording from auntie's glory years. Unfortunately,while it does seem to have been recorded (possibly twice?!) by the BBC in,the seventies,I think (?) and maybe,once again,as excerpts (?) no off air recording seems to be in circulation (not even on Youtube! Shocked Grin) so I'm just happy to have this recording. Although,according,to one (rather)unhappy Amazon 'critic',there are some cuts!! Still,it all sounds pretty enjoyable,to me (easily,pleased?!). I think I will keep it this time?!! Smiley
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