Gilbert and Sullivan

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Gilbert and Sullivan

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:34 am

Nothing to do with Buddhism, but since the section allows discussion of non-Buddhist media, I thought I might as well ask.

I happen to be a very big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, does anyone else like their work? If so what's your favourite operetta and what recordings do you recommend?

My favourite is definitely The Gondoliers, and so far my favourite recording is "1961 D'Oyly Carte (with dialogue) – New Symphony Orchestra of London, Conductor: Isidore Godfrey." John Reed in it is fantastic, and the CD version from 1989 is really such high quality you'd expect it were made last year. It neither has the best story nor comedy, but the metre, rhyme, and composition is just beyond measure in my opinion. I find the same can be said for Yeomen of the Guard, which has minimal comedy, but some of the best poetry and composition. However, my second favourite has to be Pirates of Penzance.

Here's one of my favourite clips, John Reed, not only demonstrating how a patter song is done to perfection, but Gilbert's uncanny poetic abilities and handle for rhyming just about anything within the confines of highly complex metre, I certainly don't know anyone who can emulate him in both of these, I don't read German but I have heard Goethe could do it quite well:
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Re: Gilbert and Sullivan

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:54 am

Hi, Zhen Li,
I like G&S and know many of the shows quite well. I don't know any other musicals like them but as humour they are mainstream British comedy - in the tradition that runs from Dickens' Pickwick Papers to Wodehouse to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
Maybe it's my (English) parents' fault but I don't find American comedy nearly as good - with a few honourable exceptions.

:coffee:
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Re: Gilbert and Sullivan

Postby Zhen Li » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:06 am

Yes, they're definitely an important link in the development of British comedy. There's very little that is sincere in them all, all quite satirical, all a little silly, in a way that Americans don't quite always appreciate, they seem kind of like quaint curiosities in both US and Canada as far as I have seen, but it's nothing out of the ordinary in the UK.
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Re: Gilbert and Sullivan

Postby Simon E. » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:31 am

For a more recent take on Brit comedy see ' The Mighty Boosh ' it might take a while to see that underneath the plethora of modern imagery beats the same comedy heart. Check out 'Tasty Soup ' on Youtube... 'Miso miso, fighting in the dojo, miso miso. oriental prince from the land of soup '
Or a very different variant... ' Outnumbered ' written by the superb Andy Hamilton. Two beleagured parents and their challenging children.
Superb word play.
Last edited by Simon E. on Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gilbert and Sullivan

Postby Simon E. » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:39 am

Incidentally St Mary Axe ( pron.' simmery axe ' ) is a street in London where once a church of that name stood. The church was demolished in 1543.
One of London's recent landmarks ' The Gherkin ' a skyscraper designed by Norman Foster, stands in St Mary Axe.
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