“As always, Mackerras keeps the livelier numbers moving along comfortably without ever a hint of rushing, while giving full weight to the tender moments and, above all, caressing all the details of Sullivan's delicious orchestration. Right from the overture, with its beautifully shaped Andante section, this is music-making to perfection. Of the singers, Felicity Palmer's Buttercup truly oozes plumpness and pleasure, while Thomas Allen's Captain doesn't just do the crew of the Pinafore proud, but all of us. If Rebecca Evans's Josephine is a shade lacking in colour, Mackerras has found in Michael Schade's Ralph Rackstraw a most elegant addition to his G&S team. As for Richard Suart's Sir Joseph Porter, this is surely as stylish a demonstration of patter singing as one can find anywhere on disc, while Donald Adams's Dick Deadeye is no worse for his 40-odd years singing the role. Add orchestral playing of refinement, choral work whose perfection extends from the formal numbers to the varied inflexions of 'What nevers?', plus a recording that brings out the instrumental detail to perfection, and one has a Pinafore that's unadulterated delight from first note to last.”
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