The Gilbert and Sullivan Album (1982)

The Gilbert and Sullivan Story

A Musical Documentary
with Donald Adams and Thomas Round
Music Adaptation: Steve Markham

Donald Adams Sings Sullivan and Gilbert

Recorded "Live", 1971, at the
Wilshire-Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles

This two-disc album combines two very different sets of material. The first disc is a narrated biography of Gilbert and Sullivan, punctuated with musical examples. Adams and Round do all the narrating, with various backup groups providing the music. According to the liner notes, the bulk of the recording was made in 1971 and issued on a limited-edition LP (which I have not been able to track down). Then, in 1982, some additional material was recorded, leading to the present album. The story of the immortal pair is engagingly told, though specialists are not likely to learn anything new.

Here are J. Donald Smith's comments on the disc:

This is a 'musical biography' of G&S based on readings of actual letters, diaries and cuttings from the contemporary press linked by the appropriate background material with musical snippets from the G&S operas (mostly orchestral) and some of Sullivan's non-operatic music. The material is well-chosen to provide a 'complete' history in the course of a one hour record, but there is obviously nothing new here. The music is mostly laid over and under the dialog and in a sense is superfluous except as atmosphere.

The second disc is a re-issue of the 1971 recording, Donald Adams Sings Sullivan and Gilbert.

Issue History
1982 Grand Prix Records Stereo LP GP2-9009