Gilbert and Sullivan / Overtures / Ward – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

More Gilbert & Sullivan

More Overtures / Ward 2009

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

SUPERB sound on side one, which earned our coveted Super Hot Stamper sonic grade for its rich, sweet Living Stereo sound, the kind we audiophiles have been in love with since we heard our very first one, if experience is any guide. This is a Top Shaded Dog in practically every way.  

The hall is HUGE: spacious and open as any you will hear, but not at the expense of richness or fullness. The orchestra is solid and full-bodied, yet the woodwinds and flutes soar above the other sections, so breathy and clear. How did the Decca (recording) and RCA (mastering) engineers succeed so brilliantly where so many others have failed, failed right up to this very day?

Who knows? It’s still a mystery that has yet to be explained, to my satisfaction anyway.

Very Slight Smear

That lovely texture on the strings tells you that the pressing itself is partly responsible for the superb sound — smear being a pressing issue, not a mastering or recording one. Most of the string texture is here, with only a small amount of smear evident on this side.

For naturalness, this one earns a score of nine out of ten.

Side Two

The vinyl is defective so we did not rate the sound.

Essential Music – And No Singing

The music of Gilbert and Sullivan belongs in any serious classical collection. This is without a doubt the best way to get the most Gilbert and Sullivan music with the best sound. And no singing.

If for some reason you don’t have a good recording of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Overtures, you are really missing out. This is some of the most wonderful music ever composed. It’s the kind of music that will immediately put you in a good mood. Here the Overtures are played to perfection. For music and sound, this one is hard to fault.

As the liner notes say, “…immense charm, good-natured energy and the ‘rightness’ that announces the influence of a superb musical command”.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

The Mikado
The Yeomen of the Guard
Ruddigore

Side Two

Iolanthe
H.M.S. Pinafore
The Pirates of Penzance