The World Record Club Pirates (1962)

Major-General StanleyPatrick Halstead
Pirate KingWilliam Dickie
SamuelChristopher Keyte
FredericEdward Darling
Sergeant of PoliceJohn Gower
MabelElizabeth Harwood
EdithBarbara Elsy
KatePatricia Beech
RuthNoreen Willett

The Linden Singers
Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Alex Faris

Light Music Club SLZ.7030
Light Music Club SLZ.7030
Tring SYM071
Tring SYM071. The photo, misleadinigly, is of the Papp production.

This recording of highlights from The Pirates of Penzance was issued in 1962 by The World Record Club Limited, an outfit based in Richmond, Surrey. The same group also recorded excerpts from The Mikado and The Gondoliers. The recording seems to have been re-issued on a variety of different labels, and the singers are not always positively identified.

Most of the singers do not seem to have had extensive G&S backgrounds (at least, I've never heard of them). The exception is Elizabeth Harwood (Mabel), who sang Phyllis in the Sadler's Wells Iolanthe, some small soprano parts in the Sargent/EMI series, and made guest appearances on two of the D'Oyly Carte recordings made in the 1960s and conducted by Sargent (Ida and Yeomen). She never sang on stage with D'Oyly Carte, though. Harwood's cadenza on "Poor wand'ring one," with flute accompaniment clearly modeled on Lucia di Lammermoor, is the best on records. The tenor, Edward Darling, is the brother of John Wakefield (real name Darling), who sang Nanki-Poo on the Sadler's Wells Mikado.

Summit SUM 1025
Summit SUM 1025

The selections, listed below, comprise very nearly the entire opera:

  1. "Pour, oh pour the pirate sherry"
  2. "When Frederic was a little lad"
  3. "I am a Pirate King"
  4. "Oh, is there not one maiden breast"
  5. "Poor wandering one"
  6. "What are we to do…How beautifully blue the sky"
  7. "Stay, we must not lose our senses…Too late"
  8. "Hold, monsters"
  9. "I am the very model of a modern Major-General"
  10. "When the foeman bares his steel"
  11. "When you had left our pirate fold"
  12. "Stay, Frederic, stay"
  13. "When a felon's not engaged in his employment"
  14. "With cat-like tread"
  15. "Hush, hush"…through Finale
Issue History
1962 World Record Club Mono LP T-125  
Stereo LP ST-125
(not verified)
1963 Delta Mono LP TQD-3044 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards," with no credit to conductor or orchestra
Stereo LP SQD-111
196-? Light Music Club Mono LP LM 7028 Issued by World Record International (Australia). Performers given as Linden Singers and Westminster Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Faris.
Stereo LP S-7028
Stereo LP SLZ.7030 New Zealand Issue
196-? VOX Mono LP VBX 251 Three-record set, also including Mikado and Gondoliers
Stereo LP SVBX 5251
196-? VOX Mono LP PL16-140 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards"
Stereo LP STPL 516.140
1976 DJM Stereo LP DJLMD 8021 Two-record set comprising all three World Record Club recordings
1970s(?) LP Classics International Stereo LP CIS-1819 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards"; Licensed from VOX records
1977 Summit Mono LP SUM 1025 Performers given as "The Linden Singers of London with Soloists," and Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra, Alex Faris conducting. Bruce Miller says that there are "literate and well-informed notes by Peter Gammond."
1983(?) Allegro/Allegreto Stereo Cassette ACS 8096 Performers given as "The Company of Savoyards"
1990s Tring CD SYM071 Performers given as Alex Faris, the Linden Singers, and the Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra
STCD058 Two-CD set also includes The Mikado