We’ve also solved a long-standing mystery: the identity of the uncredited pattern baritone on the 1964 National Musicale recordings who sounded uncannily like Vincent Price. (We were always sure it wasn’t Price.) It turns out to have been Ralston Hill, a little known stage actor whose voice sounded a lot like Price, and who understudied Green in various post-D’Oyly Carte G&S productions.
Archive for July, 2009
The Cool Mikado is now available on DVD. After hearing for years that it was awful, I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t great art, but I smiled most of the way through, if only at the way the familiar material had been so thoroughly lampooned.
There’s another update today. Much of it was housekeeping—adding re-issues that have come out during the last four years, when we weren’t making revisions.
I also added “comparative timing” pages for Pinafore, Pirates, Mikado, and Ruddigore. Correspondent Riley Pritchett did the hard part in each case—noting the track timings for the major recordings of each opera and putting them in tabular format. The site now has this for five operas (Ida being the other).
As always, have a look at the Revision History for further additions.
A correspondent urged me to add the Opera Australia Pirates (2006). While doing my research, I found the Opera Australia Trial and Pinafore (2005) too. All three are available on DVD, and Pirates is coming out on Blu-Ray as well.
I don’t have any of these in my own collection, so there wasn’t much I could say about them, so I would appreciate any reviews that reader may wish to send along.
Thanks to all who wrote such kind words about last night’s update.
I said that updates would be posted more frequently from now on, and I hope to live up to that. A revision is out this evening, which adds Rebecca Hains’s excellent solo recital disc, The Gilbert & Sullivan Soprano Arias, which came out in 2007.
As we note in our review:
Rebecca Hains is an amateur, but her voice is practically perfect for this material. She sings with a lovely, clear tone, and with a bright, forward sound that is ideal for making the words heard. She sings securely and without apparent effort throughout her entire range. Her sense of phrasing is nearly always spot-on. She is at her best in the arias that exploit her skill at fioritura, though there is really not a bad number on the hour-long disc.
Today, the G&S Discography receives its first update in nearly four years. It’s version 23.0, if you happen to be counting.
Coincident with this update, the site has moved to oakapplepress.com. Despite the commercial name, the Discography remains a labor of love, and I have no plans to monetize it. I would have used oakapple.com, but it was not available.
As usual, I have added new recordings that I’m aware of, but most of the changes are under the hood. There is a new CSS stylesheet, and the entire site has been converted to XHTML. Navigation has been improved, with new cascading menus. A side panel on most pages provides convenient access to relevant internal and external links. No one would call the site glitzy, but I hope it’s not quite the “Web 1.0″ dinosaur that the old site was.
It took me almost two years to implement all of this, and I often wondered if I had bitten off too much. The conversion to XHTML was especially time-consuming, and it is far from clear that it will ultimately prevail as an Internet standard; plain-old HTML would have been easier. However, at some point I decided that it was better simply to finish what I had started.
Although there have been no updates since 2005, I have maintained an e-mail folder containing any Discography-related SavoyNet posts and suggestions I have received privately. That folder, as of today, still contains over 130 items. However, I did not want to wait any longer to release the work that had already been completed. If you have sent me anything that you feel ought to be assigned a high priority, please let me know and I will bump it to the top of the list.
The bulk of the creative work on the Discography occupied me steadily from 1995–2002. For many years, it was very close to a full-time hobby. I do not expect that it will ever again receive so high a proportion of my time: there are simply too many other things that I wish to do. However, I will endeavour to keep the site updated as new recordings (or re-issues of old ones) come out. The next update won’t take four years.
When I started the site in 1995, web development was in its infancy. The entire site was, and still is, hand-coded HTML. This gives me full control over the look-and-feel, but it also means that all of the links and indexes are maintained manually. Updates are time-consuming and tedious. I have looked at more modern tools, but I have never been able to upload the site into a new system without breaking a lot of things, so the basic structure is likelty to remain as-is.
At some point, I would love to be able to add a “comment bot” to each page, so that readers could add their own views without being dependent on my irregular schedule of updates. If I could find a relatively straightforward solution that wouldn’t require me to take on another lengthy conversion, I would happily adopt it.
I hope to be able to use this blog as a running journal that can be updated far more easily. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the new look of the site.