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Thursday, January 13, 2005
The Contrabandista, The Foresters
The New London Orchestra, the London Chrous, directed by Ronald Corp, with soloists Claire rutter, Fraces McCafferty, Ashley Catling, Donald Maxwell, Richart Stuart, Geoffrey Moses
Hyperion


 height=Before he met William S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan wrote the music to a comic operetta called "The ContrabandistaĒ by one Francis Cowley Burnand, a work that has has been performed only once since the 1880s and has survived mainly as a musical curiosity because it is Sullivanís first two-act opera and the work that catapulted him into the orbit of Gilbert and the world of musical theater. The long-forgotten Mr. Burnadís lyrics are extremely silly but the music is another matter; strong and jaunty and instantly infectious, it foreshadows the great Gilbert and Sullivan style to follow and the CD is a must for fans of operetta's musical odd couple.

It is paired on this Hyperion disk with "The Foresters," nine selections from the incidental music Sullivan composed for a play by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Once again, Sullivan deserved better lyrics to work with but manages to overcome all with sheer exhuberance and style.

This disc was made possible by the Arthur Sullivan Society and various "angels" who sponsored individual tracks.

 



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