An Evening with W. S. Gilbert (1980)

A Musical Biography by John Wolfson
Starring Lloyd Harris
Directed by: Richard Smithies
Musical Director: Alfred Heller

This recording features musical excerpts from a play, W. S. Gilbert: A Musical Biography, by the Gilbert and Sullivan scholar John Wolfson. I never saw the play, but it was evidently a full-length, one-man show featuring both dialogue and musical selections. The recording includes the music only.

The selections include a considerable amount of material recorded nowhere else:

Side 1Side 2
  1. "Introduction"
  2. "The Distant Shore"
  3. "The Marquis of Mince Pie"
  4. "When I was a Lad"
  5. "Queen Victoria March" / "The Hymn to the Nobility" / "I am a Pirate King"
  6. "Sleep On" / "The Sentry Song"
  1. "If You Give Me Your Attention" / "The Mikado's Song," orig. lyrics
  2. "Entr'acte: Yeomen"
  3. "When You Find You're a Broken-down Critter"
  4. "The Played-out Humorist" (i.e., "Quixotic is his enterprise" from His Excellency).
  5. "In Yonder World"
  6. "The Pantomime 'Super' to His Mask"

Much of the record is deadly dull, with Lloyd Harris singing out of tune in several of the numbers. Michael Walters summarized what was wrong with the recording:

I would say it was "interesting" rather than enjoyable. My feeling about this disc is that really the only worthwhile piece on it is "In yonder world," which is the only available recording of this song, or, indeed I think, of anything from Fallen Fairies. But the rest is really just an old man singing a lot of G&S songs that one has heard sung much better by others. It would have been much more interesting if the whole play could have been recorded with the songs in context. But I suppose that would have been too much to hope for!

Issue History
1980 Original Cast Records LP OC 8026