Recordings of The Yeomen of the Guard

Background | Recordings


Yeomen Poster
Contemporary Drawing of The Yeomen of the Guard

The Yeomen of the Guard has fared extremely well on record, with five musically-complete stereo sets available on CD. The one most least likely to please is Sir Malcolm Sargent's 1958 recording with the "Glyndebourne" forces. It is sung competently enough, but with so many other options on the market, it must come in last place.

The venerable 1964 D'Oyly Carte recording will satisfy most listeners, and the CD re-mastering comes with the company's excellent recording of Trial by Jury made the same year.

Two more recent recordings are worth serious consideration. The 1993 New D'Oyly Carte recording includes all of the "cut" material, "When jealous torments," "A laughing boy," the original setting of "Is life a boon?" and the third/fourth yeomen's couplets.

Sir Neville Marriner's recording came out the same year. It is the only commercially-issued Yeomen to date with dialogue, albeit abridged. I found the dialogue dramatically compelling, especially considering that the artists had not played their roles on stage, but this view has not been universally shared. Sir Neville coaxes strong performances from cast and orchestra.

Yeomen was the final (to date) entry in Sir Charles Mackerras's G&S series. Richard Suart's Jack Point does not live up to the level of his predecessors in the role. The set does come with a superb Trial by Jury, however.

Having said all that, you will not go seriously wrong with any of these sets. Several of the vintage sets are available on CD also, but the artistic trade-offs of these versions are too subtle to make a recommendation. If you like vintage sets, you will likely want them all.

The situation on video is not as good. The only video currently on the market is the Brent Walker production from 1982. The production is almost universally despised, both for Joel Grey's terribly misjudged Point and several brutal cuts.


NR 1907 Pathé Acou Abrg 78 Cass CD
NR 1907 G&T Acou Abrg 78
NR 1920 HMV Acou 78 CD
*** 1928 D'Oyly Carte Elec 78 LP Cass CD
NR 1931 Columbia Elec 78CD
NR 1931 D'Oyly Carte Elec Abrg 78 Cass CD
***** 1950 D'Oyly Carte Mono 78 45 LP CD
NR 1957 Hallmark Hall of Fame Abrg TV CD
*** 1958 Sargent/EMI Ster LPCassCD
**** 1964 D'Oyly Carte Ster LP 45 Cass CD
NR 1966 BBC Dial Radio
** 1966 Michael Sammes Singers Ster Hlts LP
* 1972 G&S For All Ster Abrg LP Cass Film TV VCass CD
NR 1974 BBC Video Dial TV
NR 1978 City of London Festival Dial VCass
*** 1979 D'Oyly Carte Ster LPCassCD
** 1982 Brent Walker Productions Dial TV VCass LD *
NR 1989 BBC Ster Dial Radio
**** 1993 Marriner/Philips Dig Dial CD
***** 1993 New D'Oyly Carte Dig Bonus CassCD
**** 1995 Mackerras/Telarc Dig CD
NR 2003 Ohio Light Opera Dig CD