OP0207. GILBERT & SULLIVAN Operettas, recorded 1956-62, (Gondoliers, Pinafore, Iolanthe, Patience, Pirates of Penzance, Ruddigore,Trial by Jury, Yeomen of the Guard), w. Sargent, Dunn & Groves Cond. Glyndebourne Ensemble; Monica Sinclair, George Baker, Heather Harper, Elizabeth Harwood, Owen Brannigan, etc.; Mackerras Cond. London S.O., w.Julian Lloyd Webber (Cello): Cello Concerto in D; Sir Vivian Dunn Cond. City of Birmingham S.O.: THE TEMPEST- Incidental Music (all Sullivan). (UK) 16-EMI 74468, in Boxed Set with Elaborate 63pp. Brochure. Final Copy! - 0724357446822
THE GONDOLIERS - 1957 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
H.M.S. PINAFORE - 1958 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
IOLANTHE - 1959 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
PATIENCE - 1962 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE - 1961 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
RUDDIGORE - 1963 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
TRIAL BY JURY - 1961 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD - 1957 Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
“In 1909, the 14-year-old Sargent was unexpectedly asked to fill in for an absent conductor at a local rehearsal of Gilbert and Sullivan's THE GONDOLIERS, making quite an impression.
In 1921 Sir Henry J. Wood invited Sargent to conduct his own ‘Impression on a Windy Day’ (Sargent's first and only real venture into composition) at a Promenade Concert in London. By 1923, Sargent had joined the teaching staff of the Royal College of Music.
In 1924, he served as chief conductor of the Robert Mayer children's concerts, and for two seasons, beginning in 1926, led the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in London. He served as assistant conductor for the Ballet Russe's London seasons in 1927 and 1928. Never forgetting his foundation in choral music, Sargent accepted leadership of the Royal Choral Society in 1929 (a post he held for the next 20 years) and the Huddersfield Choral Society in 1932. In that same year, he helped Beecham found the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1939 and 1957, he held chief conductorships with the Hallé Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. From 1948 until the year before he died, Sargent organized and conducted the Promenade Concerts in London.
Sargent gave the premieres of three Vaughn Williams operas (HUGH THE DROVER, 1924; SIR JOHN IN LOVE, 1929; RIDERS TO THE SEA, 1937), as well as Holst's AT THE BOAR'S HEAD in 1925 (with the recently founded British National Opera Company). Sargent introduced Walton's TROILUS AND CRESSIDA at Covent Garden in 1954.
Frequent touring introduced Sargent's uniquely energetic brand of music-making to a wide audience around the world (including the U.S.S.R., South Africa, and the Far East). In 1947, he was knighted for his conspicuous service to British music. He firmly believed that the works of Elgar, Walton, and Delius would eventually take their place alongside the great classics of Western art music. Sargent used guest appearances with the NBC Symphony as an opportunity to expose American audiences to a wide range of British composers.”
- Blair Johnston, allmusic.com
“Malcolm Sargent was an English conductor, organist and composer widely regarded as Britain's leading conductor of choral works. The musical ensembles with which he was associated included the Ballets Russes, the Huddersfield Choral Society, the Royal Choral Society, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and the London Philharmonic, Hallé, Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic orchestras. Sargent was held in high esteem by choirs and instrumental soloists, but because of his high standards and a statement that he made in a 1936 interview disputing musicians' rights to tenure, his relationship with orchestral players was often uneasy. Despite this, he was co-founder of the London Philharmonic, was the first conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic as a full-time ensemble, and played an important part in saving the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from disbandment in the 1960s.
As chief conductor of London's internationally famous summer music festival the Proms from 1948 to 1967, Sargent was one of the best-known English conductors. When he took over the Proms from their founder, Sir Henry Wood, he and two assistants conducted the two-month season between them. By the time he died, he was assisted by a large international roster of guest conductors.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, Sargent turned down an offer of a major musical directorship in Australia and returned to the UK to bring music to as many people as possible as his contribution to national morale. His fame extended beyond the concert hall: to the British public, he was a familiar broadcaster in BBC radio talk shows, and generations of Gilbert and Sullivan devotees have known his recordings of the most popular Savoy Operas. He toured widely throughout the world and was noted for his skill as a conductor, his championship of British composers, and his debonair appearance, which won him the nickname ‘Flash Harry’.
Toscanini, Beecham and many others regarded Sargent as the finest choral conductor in the world. Even orchestral musicians gave him credit: the principal violist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra wrote of him, ‘He is able to instil into the singers a life and efficiency they never dreamed of’.”