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Patience

CD and Audio

 

PATIENCE [with dialogue]
Label: Decca
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus with Beti Lloyd-Jones, Donald Adams, Gillian Knight, John Cartier, John Reed, Jennifer Toye, Kenneth Sandford, Mary Sansom, Philip Potter, Yvonne Newman et al.
Orchestra: New Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by:†Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†2

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PATIENCE [Recorded 1951]
Label: Naxos Historical
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Martyn Green, Margaret Mitchell, Alan Styler, Peter Pratt et al
Conducted by: Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†1

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Sendit Price: £5.89

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IOLANTHE / PATIENCE [BOX SET]
Label: Pearl
Performed by: Martyn Green, Leonard Osborn, Ella Halman, Ann Drummond-Grant, Darrell Fancourt, Peter Pratt, Murial Harding et al with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and chorus
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra
Conducted by:†Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†3

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PATIENCE / IRISH SYMPHONY
Label: Classics for Pleasure
Conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir Charles Groves
Performer: Elsie Morison, Marjorie Thomas, Monica Sinclair, George Baker, John Cameron et al.
No of Discs: 1

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD / PATIENCE [BOX SET]
Label: Castle Pulse
No of Discs: 4

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Amazon.co.uk Customer Comment
The first electronic recordings of "The Yeomen of the Guard" (1928) and "Patience" (1930). The comic operas would originally have been issued in albums of about twenty-four sides, each. 
Sound is amazingly good mono, considering the great age of the performances, and not so very different from some first-generation LPs. The voices of the soloists are very well captured. The choruses sound fine, although a little distant and slightly compressed. If the orchestra seems confined by digital era standards, the sound is good and full of detail. 
Text: No dialogue. (Hardcore G&S fans may take this fact as a fatal omission or a welcome relief, as they see fit.) The performing text and the order of pieces is that established by W. S. Gilbert and used on stage by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company throughout most of the 20th Century. In "Yeomen" that means that the Second Yeoman is the first male soloist to sing and that the First Yeoman does not utter a word until the finale of the first act. In accordance with D'Oyly Carte Company performing practice at the date of the recording, the duet, "Rapture, Rapture," is present, although it would be omitted in the stage performances of the immediately following decades. 
These two comic operas were recorded at the transition point between the ends of the performing careers of the second generation of Savoyards, some of whom had been directed by W. S. Gilbert, himself, and the beginning of the third. Sir Henry Lytton - imagine, being knighted for doing G&S! - the chief comedy man, was still with the company but on his way out. HMV engineers did not care for the way his voice recorded, so his place was taken in the studio for the roles of Jack Point and Reginald Bunthorne by George Baker, who was never a regular member of the D'Oyly Carte Company. Lytton's great successor, the incomparable Martyn Greene, was already on hand, though, singing the small part of the Major in "Patience." (More than thirty years after these recordings were made, Baker would be back before the microphones, recording many of the comic patter parts for Sir Malcolm Sargent's stereo G&S series.) 
These recordings were made under the personal supervision of Rupert D'Oyly Carte, whose father, Richard, had founded the opera company and been a partner with Gilbert (stormily) and Sullivan (happily). His step-mother, Helen, had succeeded to control of the company, and his daughter, Bridget, would continue to run it with a whim of iron well past the middle of the 20th Century. Whatever the eccentricities of the D'Oyly Cartes, this early series of recordings must be regarded as definitive in setting out the G&S performance tradition. 
This set presents two G&S comic opera masterpieces at a rock-bottom price. It offers surprisingly good sound and first-class performances, my mere nitpicking to the contrary. It is a must-have for a serious lover of G&S. For those of you, delicate souls that you are, who must have DDD sound or suffer the vapours, walk away, this is not for you. For those who give more weight to artistic quality than to mere mechanical reproduction of sound, this set is worth five stars, no question about it. 

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PATIENCE
Label: Koch
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
No of Discs: 1

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PATIENCE
Label: London
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, New Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by:†Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†2

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SULLIVAN -  PATIENCE / IRISH SYMPHONY
Label: Emi Classical
Conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir Charles Groves
Performer: Elsie Morison, George Baker, et al.
Orchestra: Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra, et al.
No of Discs: 2

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PATIENCE / PRINCESS IDA [IMPORT]
Label: Happy Days
Conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent
Performer: Winifred Lawson, George Baker, et al.
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Symphony Orchestra
No of Discs: 2


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SULLIVAN -  THE GONDOLIERS / PATIENCE
Label: Arabesque
Conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent
Performer: with Winifred Lawson, George Baker, Leslie Rands, Nellie Briercliffe, Rita Mackay, Marjorie Eyre, Bertha Lewis, Darrell Fancourt, Martyn Green, Derek Oldham, William Booth, Sydney Granville, Leonard Hubbard, Stuart Robertson
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Symphony Orchestra
No of Discs: 2

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PATIENCE
Label: TER
Conducted by:†John Owen Edwards
Performed by: Mary Hegarty, Donald Maxwell, et al.
No of Discs:†2

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Amazon.co.uk Customer Comment
It seems to be fashionable to sneer in some circles at the collaboration of Gilbert, Sullivan and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. But as recording makes abundantly clear, there is nothing stuffy, old fashioned or dull about them. This recording is, from first to last, a delight. 
John Owen Edwards extracts from the score subtleties that were hitherto unsuspected. This is a very beautiful score - the lush, languid opening women's' chorus contrasting superbly with the vigorous dragoons. Edwards treats much of the score almost as bel canto, and it is astonishing but how much of the humour is retained. It may seem heresy to say so, but he leaves Sargent and Godfrey trailing in his wake. 
The soloists are wonderful. Mary Hegarty is a terrific Patience; a full, lusty milkmaid more akin to Moll Flanders than the twittery soubrettes of yore. Jill Pert is superb as ever as Lady Jane. Some found Simon Butteriss' Bunthorne over-detailed, but as this young man is making a name for himself along the lines of a Lytton or a Green, he commands attention. The ensembles are up to the exacting D'Oyly Carte standards. 
On the whole this is a clear first choice. Many listeners may prefer to have the dialogue, in which case the Decca issue will suffice, but the higher musical values and the outstanding recording quality give this one the edge. 

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