The World Record Club Mikado (1962)

The MikadoWilliam Dickie
Nanki-PooEdward Darling
Ko-KoDavid Croft
Pooh-BahJohn Gower
Pish-TushIan Humphries
Yum-YumElizabeth Harwood
Pitti-SingBarbara Elsy
Peep-BoPauline Stevens
KatishaNoreen Willett

The Linden Singers
Westminster Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Alexander Faris

World Record Club T-119
World Record Club T-119
World Record Club TT119
World Record Club TT119

This recording of substantial highlights was first issued in 1962 or so and has been frequently re-issued over the years.

Seth Schneider pointed out that the n----- word in the list song is replaced with "banjo," yet the word is retained in "A more humane Mikado." As Seth observed, "I can't recall any other recording to have this inconsistency."

The selections include:

  • Introduction & Opening Chorus
  • "A wandering minstrel"
  • "Our great Mikado"
  • "Behold the Lord High Executioner"
  • "I've got a little list"
  • "Three little maids from school"
  • "I am so proud"
  • Finale Act I
  • "The sun whose rays"
  • "Brightly dawns our wedding day"
  • "Here's a how-de-do"
  • "Mi-ya sa-ma"/"From every kind of man"
  • "A more humane Mikado"
  • "The criminal cried"
  • "The flowers that bloom in the spring"
  • "On a tree by a river"
  • "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast"
  • Finale Act II

Tring SYM072
Tring SYM072
Vox STPL 516.130
Vox STPL 516.130
Ben Elton provided the following review:

Although this recording is far from complete, being only selected highlights, that which is featured is excellent. The music is performed with real gusto, while still retaining subtlety, where it is required. In addition, it is played at a cracking pace, much faster than the Sargent recording and similar to that of the 1939 film. It is odd that this wonderful rendition was conducted by the same man who produced the music on the fairly mediocre Brent Walker videos.

David Craft is superb as Ko Ko. His diction cannot be faulted, and he puts expression into the lyrics while not going too far, as Richard Suart, for example, is sometimes prone to do. He sounds to me like a born patter baritone, and I was surprised to learn that this recording, together with similar productions of Gondoliers and Pirates, was his only connection with Gilbert and Sullivan. I would love to hear him sing the 'Nightmare Song' from Iolanthe.

All the other performers are very good, and the Mikado has a terrific chuckle in "A More Humane Mikado," although, be warned, the word "nigger" is retained in that song, although not in "List." One criticism in that the Act One finale has the middle section ripped out of it, perhaps so that when it is repeated in the act two finale, the "He's gone and married Yum Yum" song sounds fresh.

All in all, first rate, despite its very incomplete nature.

Issue History
1962 World Record Club Mono LP T119  
Stereo LP ST119
Reel-to-reel Tape TT119
1963 Delta Mono LP TQD 3045 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards," with no credit to conductor or orchestra
Stereo LP SQD 112
196-? VOX Mono LP VBX 251 Three-record set, also including Pirates and The Gondoliers
Stereo LP SVBX 5251
196-? VOX Mono LP PL16-130 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards"
Stereo LP STPL 516.130
1976 DJM Stereo LP DJLMD 8021 Two-record set comprising all three World Record Club recordings
1977 Summit Mono LP SUM 1046  
1983 Allegro/Allegretto Stereo Cassette ACS 8116
1990s Tring CD SYM072 Performers given as Alex Faris, the Linden Singers, and the Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra
STCD058 Two-CD set, also includes Pirates