"Great introductory production for the kids. The sound effects pull the young listeners into the Opera."
HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO OWN THE MOST MALIGNED PRODUCTION OF H.M.S. PINAFORE!!
LONDON PHASE 4 STEREO SPCA 12001
D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: James Walker
Recorded at Decca Studios, West Hampstead 14–15 March 1971
This Pinafore may well be the most detested D'Oyly Carte recording of all time. It was the Company's one and only full-length opera recorded in the so-called Phase 4 sound*.
To mark the occasion, the engineers went overboard with sound effects. The water is heard lapping up against the ship's sides in the dialogue scenes, with a persistent seagull being the star of the opera. To most listeners, it was all too much, while the performance itself was decidedly less taut than in the 1960 recording.
Sir Joseph Porter John Reed
Captain Corcoran Thomas Lawlor
Ralph Rackstraw Ralph Mason
Dick Deadeye John Ayldon
Bill Bobstay Jon Ellison
Bob Becket Arthur Jackson
Josephine Valerie Masterson
Little Buttercup Christene Palmer
Hebe Pauline Wales
*Explanation of Decca's "Phase 4"
Decca, which for years was the official record label of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, made two G&S recordings in the so-called "Phase 4 Sound": A Gilbert & Sullivan Spectacular in 1966 (containing selections from various operas, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent), and a complete recording of Pinafore in 1971.
The "Spectacular" has long been a favorite with fans, while the Pinafore is one of the most loathed D'Oyly Carte sets of all time, primarily due to the overuse of extraneous sound effects. It was re-issued on CD in late 1997, with numerous tracks from the "Spectacular" used to fill up the extra space on the second disc.
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