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The Yeomen of the Guard

CD and Audio


THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD / TRIAL BY JURY
Label: Telarc
Performed by: Welsh National Opera Chorus with Peter Savidge, Neill Archer, Donald Adams, Peter Hoare, Richard Suart, Donald Maxwell, Alwyn Mellor, Pamela Helen Stephen, Felicity Palmer, Clare O'Neill, Rebecca Evans, Barry Banks, Richard Suart, Peter Savidge, Donald Adams, Gareth Rhys-Davies
Orchestra: Welsh National Opera Orchestra
Conducted by: Sir Charles Mackerras
No of Discs: 2

Amazon.co.uk Price: £27.99

Amazon Customer Review
One of the very best G&S recordings ever made, in my view. The YEOMEN is essentially a record of WNO's stage version of the opera, which finally brought Sullivan's music to the stage of the Royal Opera House. Felicity Palmer's rendition of "When Our Gallant Norman Foes" is an object lesson in how to sing this material. The late, lamented Donald Adams brings authority and humour to Sergeant Meryll, and in Richard Suart there is a credible Jack Point. The rest of the WNO cast is similarly excellent, and Charles Mackerras gets top performances out of the WNO orchestra and chorus. 
TRIAL BY JURY is very good indeed, although Mackerras rushes through the two tenor songs for some reason, and Donald Adams is credited as playing the Usher, but it doesn't sound like him - though whoever it is gives a good performance.
All in all, well worth paying the extra money - certainly YEOMEN is as good as it gets

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THE MIKADO / THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD [BOX SET]
Label: Pearl
Performed by: Martyn Green, Darryll Fancourt, Leonard Osborn, Muriel Harding, Ann Drummond-Grant, Margaret Mitchell et al. 
No of Discs: 3

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
Label: TER
Performed by: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus with Donald Maxwell, David Fieldsend, Terence Sharpe, Julian Jenson, Fenton Gray, Gary Montaine, Lesley Echo Ross, Janine Roebuck, Jill Pert, Carol Lesley-Green
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra
Conducted by: John Owen Edwards
No of Discs:†2

Amazon.co.uk Price: £21.99

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD 
(Complete Music & Dialogue)
Label: Albany
Conductor: J. Lynn Thompson, Artistic Director: Steven Daigle
Performed by: Ohio Light Opera
Orchestra: Ohio Light Opera Orchestra
No of Discs:†2

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD [Recorded 1950]
Label: Naxos Historical
Performed by: Donald Harris, Leonard Osborn, Darrell Fancourt, Neville Griffiths, Martyn Green,  Richard Watson et al with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus 
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra
Conducted by: Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs:†2

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
Label: Classics for Pleasure
Performed by: Denis Dowling, Richard Lewis, John Cameron, Alexander Young, Sir Geraint Evans, Elsie Morison, et al
Conducted by:†Sir Malcolm Sargent
No of Discs: 1

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD & HMS PINAFORE
Label: Symposium
No of Discs: 1

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Amazon Customer Review
These recordings were made in 1907 by the Gramophone & Typewriter (G&T) Company. They employed so-called studio artists, none of whom were D'Oyly Carte cast members. Even so, the current transcriptions are bright and clear. All of the performers, notably Ada Florence, Walter Sinclair, Harry Dearth, and Ernest Pike presented the Gilbertian traditions of performance. The voices may not always be what listeners to later recordings may be used to, but they are highly professional. Symposium Records and the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society deserve high praise for this desirable historical issue of two of the earliest more or less complete G&S performances. Also very pleasing is the almost total absence of surface noise, so prevalent, at least in many listeners' minds, on vintage 78s.

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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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TRIAL BY JURY / THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
Label: London
Performed by: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus with with Anthony Raffell, Philip Potter, Donald Adams, David Palmer, John Reed, Kenneth Sandford, Elizabeth Harwood, Ann Hood, Gillian Knight, Margaret Eales, David Palmer, Thomas Lawlor
Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Isidore Godfrey
No of Discs: 2

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD [IMPORT]
Including: A Laughing Boy / A Jealous Torment / Is Life a Boon?
Label: Sony
Performed by:†D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Orchestra: D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra
Conducted by:†John Owen Edwards
No of Discs:†2

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD [IMPORT]
Label: Philips
Performed by: Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chorus with Robert Lloyd, Kurt Streit, Stafford Dean, Neil Mackie, Thomas Allen, Bryn Terfel, Sylvia McNair, Jean Rigby, Anne Collins, Judith Howarth, Neil Mackie, Anthony Michaels-Moore
Conducted by:†Sir Neville Marriner
No of Discs:†2

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
Label: EMI
Performed by:†Glyndebourne Festival Chorus with with Denis Dowling, Richard Lewis, John Carol Case, Alexander Young, Sir Geraint Evans, Owen Brannigan, Elsie Morison, Marjorie Thomas, Monica Sinclair, Doreen Hume, Alexander Young, John Carol Case, Pro Arte Orchestra
Conducted by:†Sir Malcolm Sargent
No of Discs:†2

Amazon.co.uk Price: £8.99

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THE YEOMAN OF THE GUARD (sic)
Label: Koch
No of Discs:†1

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THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD 
Or The Merryman And His Maid [IMPORT]
Label: Pro Arte
Conductor: Malcolm Sargent
Orchestra: Ohio Light Opera Orchestra

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