The 1907 G&T Gondoliers

Tessa … … … Florence Venning
Other Soloists Unidentified

Sullivan Operatic Party with Orchestra
Conductor Unknown

Recorded in London
5 & 18 February 1907

This recording is a marginal candidate for inclusion in the Discography. It comprises only seven sides. Wolfson, who lists only complete sets and substantial abridgements from this period, does not list it. Rees lists the individual sides, but does not describe them as a set. However, Francis does list it. The numbering of the HMV issue, and the fact that the sides were recorded in the same month, strongly suggests suggests that the publisher did consider this to be a set, albeit considerably abridged.

Except for Florence Venning in "When a merry maiden marries," the allocation of the roles is undetermined. The credits only mentioned the "Sullivan Operatic Party," as was common in those days. However, Francis says that the recording sheets for "Then one of us will be a queen" and "In a contemplative fashion" credit "K. P. V. J." Given the stock artists HMV typically used, these could refer to Stanley Kirkby (Giuseppe), Ernest Pike (Marco), Florence Venning (Tessa), and Eleanor Jones-Hudson (Gianetta). Presumably, these singers also sang the other sides recorded that day.

The chorus for "When a merry maiden marries" is given as "K. P. J. D." Francis says that "D" could be Elizabeth Dews, a mezzo-soprano who would have sung the alto chorus part backing Venning. In any event, these sides were recorded during the same period as the 1907 G&T Yeomen, and it is not unlikely to have included the same artists.

Six of the seven sides were recorded on 5 February 1907, with the remaining side recorded on 18 February. They were then issued on single-sided discs in 1907-8, and later re-issued on double-sided discs. The close sequence of catalog numbers for the double-sided re-issue suggests that the Gramophone Company thought of them as a set.

Issue History
1907–1908 G&T 7 10" single-sided discs see details below
1912? HMV 1 10" single-sided 3 10" double-sided discs see details below

Note: In the HMV issue, "Of happiness the very pith" is apparently a single-sided disc, although it could have been a double-sided disc with a non-Gondoliers selection on the other side.

Recording Details
Pub. Date
19946b80 4462B398 s.1 In enterprise of martial kind5 Feb 1907 May 1908
29938b77 3679B398 s.2 When a merry maiden marries5 Feb 1907 Apr 1907
39942b77 4427B396 s.1 Then one of us will be a queen5 Feb 1907 May 1907
49932b77 4614B403 Of happiness the very pith5 Feb 1907 ?
59945b? 4615B396 s.2 Dance a cachucha5 Feb 1907 Oct 1907
69935b76 4445B397 s.1 In a contemplative fashion5 Feb 1907 Oct 1907
710039b77 4444B397 s.2 I am a courtier18 Feb 1907 ?


  1. The Disc Speed and G&T Publication Date columns are from Rees, who does not supply this information for every side.
  2. According to Rees, the label of s. 4 is merely "Chorus of Men." Francis gives the content as "Of happiness the very pith." It is not clear whether he has assumed this, or if he had access to information not available to Rees. Certainly it is hard to imagine another plausible men's chorus in the opera.
  3. The double-sided issue of s. 4 was backed by s. 18 ("Rapture, rapture") of the 1907 G&T Yeomen. If the content of s. 4 was indeed "Of happiness the very pith," it seems to be an odd choice to accompany the Yeomen side.
Recording Sessions
49932b Of happiness the very pith5 Feb 1907
69935b In a contemplative fashion5 Feb 1907
29938b When a merry maiden marries5 Feb 1907
39942b Then one of us will be a queen5 Feb 1907
59945b Dance a cachucha5 Feb 1907
19946b In enterprise of martial kind5 Feb 1907
710039b I am a courtier18 Feb 1907