, October 2001
"Older collectors, including myself, will welcome the 1950 D'Oyly Carte Mikado with a tinge of nostalgic recognition. Believe it or not, my elementary school music library actually owned this recording, and I vividly remember borrowing it. David Lennick's transfer appears to stem from an excellently preserved LP copy. Surface noise is virtually eradicated, but arguably at the expense of top end transients. Patches of distortion at louder moments come and go with little consequence. As often the case with Decca's early mono opera sets, the voices dominate to the point of covering the orchestra. The advantage, of course, is that most of the words are clear, no matter how fast Isidore Godfrey's tempos may be ("Behold the Lord High Executioner" for example).
It's always fun to hear Ko-Ko come to irrepressible life through the legendary Martyn Green's singular character voice. In the 'Three Little Maids' trio Margaret Mitchell, Joan Gillingham, and Joyce Wright manage to come off dowdy and sparkling at the same time. The other principals, Darrell Fancourt in the title role, Leonard Osborne as Nanki-Poo, and Richard Watson as Pooh-Bah, are essentially actors who sing very well, and in impeccable Savoyard style."