Based on the title - and the name of Sullivan on the sleeve - I half-formed the impression that this might be some obscure Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. But no, it turns out that whilst it's the same Sullivan whose music is featured here, this production was a sort of 'pet project' of Charles Makerras, way back in the late 1950's.
So there's no vocalists here after all, instead this is an entirely orchestral work, made up of a 'patchwork quilt of tunes from most of the Savoy Operas' (being the comic operas of Victorian England - precursors to the modern stage musical), all stitched together and arranged by Mackerras, the end result being the score for a ballet.
The overall sense of the music is that it's all rather jolly and gung-ho, a bit like the Last Night at the Proms
, where everyone lets their hair down and has an end-of-season rip-snorting good time. Thus the Royal Philharmonic tumbles along here at a fairly brisk pace, with plenty going on from all sections of the orchestra - the brass delivering fanfares like some military marching band that's been let off its leash, and the strings responding with bountiful frisky romps up and down the scales.
Whilst it's all very invigorating, it's not especially memorable melodically, sounding more or less like what it is ... a boisterous pastiche of 19th century-styled musical entertainment, the sort of thing played at the Folies Bergere musical cabaret in Paris perhaps, or to accompany can-can dancers. It's OK - in its own riotous way - but is probably better appreciated live than in the setting of a domestic stereo. Rated:
by Reviewer: bluemoon