Martyn Green Sings The Gilbert & Sullivan Songbook (1962)

Starlight Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Musical Arrangements by Robert Creis
Conducted by Cyril Ornadel
with June Bronhill, soprano, and Andrew Gold, tenor
MGM E/SE-3980
MGM E/SE-3980

This LP features Martyn Green and others singing cuts from Mikado, Gondoliers, Ruddigore, Yeomen, Ida, Trial, Pirates, and Iolanthe. The interpretations will not be to everyone's taste, but they are all competently executed. I find Ornadel's tempos a bit too brisk, but Andrew Gold's contributions are solid, and June Bronhill's are superb.

Even at this late date, Martyn Green's characterization and impeccable diction remain highlights, but his musicianship has deteriorated markedly from his prime. Many lines—in some cases entire verses—are spoken in rhythm instead of being sung, and his intonation is wobbly in patches.

The order of the numbers is also a bit odd. Just look at side two, where there is a Pirates medley, followed by the Nightmare song, another Pirates number, two more unrelated pieces, and then the Major-General's song.

Everything Green recorded here he recorded elsewhere, so nothing on this album is a must-have. It is pleasant without being anything special. Chris Webster views it a bit more favorably.

He is starting to sound old....but I think his maturity makes this record a winner. His interpretations had developed very well by the time this was made, and I wonder if this has anything to do with being free from DC restrictions — have you noticed the different note on the word 'you' in the phrase 'allotted to YOU' from the Nightmare Song? I really like this alternative note.

Contents are as follows:

Side 1Side 2
Mikado Medley:
"Behold the Lord High Executioner"
"Taken from a county jail"
"Little list"
"Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes"
"My Boy You May Take it From Me"
"Were You not to Ko-Ko Plighted"
"Oh, A Private Buffoon"
"I Can't Think Why" [sic]
Trial Medley:
"All Hail Great Judge"
"When I Good Friends"
Pirates Medley
"Stop Ladies Pray"
"Is There Not one Maiden Breast"
"Poor Wandering One"
Nightmare Song
"How Beautifully Blue the Sky"
"Sailing O'er Life's Ocean Wide"
"I Have a Song to Sing, O"
"Model of a Modern Major-General"
Issue History
1962 MGM Mono LP E3980
Stereo LP SE3980
197-? Carnival Gold Standard Stereo LP 2941 205

Note: the 1970s Carnival Gold Standard re-issue was titled, "Martyn Green Sings Gilbert and Sullivan."