MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900)
Ivanhoe - romantic opera in 3 acts (1890-91) [165:33]
Neal Davies (baritone) - Richard Cœur-de-Lion;
Stephen Gadd (baritone) - Prince John;
James Rutherford (bass-baritone) - Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert;
Peter Wedd (tenor) - Maurice de Bracy;
Peter Rose (bass) - Cedric the Saxon;
Toby Spence (tenor) - Wilfred, Knight of Ivanhoe;
Matthew Brook (bass-baritone) - Friar Tuck;
Leigh Melrose (baritone) - Isaac, the Jew of York;
Andrew Staples (tenor) - Locksley/The Squire;
Janice Watson (soprano) - The Lady Rowena;
Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) – Ulrica;
Geraldine McGreevy (soprano) – Rebecca;
Knights and Ladies, Attendants, Saxons, Youths - Adrian Partington Singers
BBC National Orchestra of Wales/David Lloyd-Jones
rec. BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, Wales, 24-28 June 2009. DDD
CHANDOS CHAN 10578 (3) [3 CDs: 59:01 + 52:08 + 54:24]


Experience Classicsonline



Perhaps it is amazing that we have had to wait so long for the first professional recording of Sullivan’s only grand opera. All the more so wen it played for 155 consecutive performances in 1891 and later went touring with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. The English Opera House was built expressly for it and yet this facet of British heritage has been neglected and largely forgotten until now. We have to thank the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society’s sponsors for making this expensive recording possible and Chandos for taking the initiative to mount such a worthwhile production.
The legendary Ivanhoe came to us from the Waverley novels of Sir Walter Scott in 1819. It was such a great favourite in Victorian times that its appearance in the theatre was certain. There have been two previous amateur recordings on disc (Pearl) and these appeared in 1974 and 1989; the first a live performance by Michael Thomas and a studio one by the Prince Consort. Although the latter gave a better chance of evaluating Sullivan’s score, there were nuances, themes and textures that now shine and provide a different perspective. David Lloyd-Jones must be congratulated for the energetic pace he sets, never rushed but always advancing in a purposeful way. This has made all the difference to the way this kind of recording is perceived.
In the first scene, Sturgis the librettist, has to introduce the characters and background before the plot can develop. Consequently the score’s opening section contains much extended recitative that cannot fully reveal Sullivan’s skill as a composer. We are being introduced to motifs which cleverly weave in and out of the work, sometimes later appearing quite subtly. From Act II onwards both the action and music warms up to powerful crescendos that excite the emotions and varied means of expression. Bright brass fanfares give a true air of pageantry.
The singers provide a polished performance, sing superbly and support each other admirably. Special mention should be made of Janice Watson with sincerity of portrayal and effortless top notes; Toby Spence with his strength of delivery and powerful presence; and Peter Rose for warmth of tone and clear diction. In Janice and Toby’s Act 1 Scene 2 lyrical duet, the balance is superb. The chorus is fine and adds considerable weight to the opera. What has made all the difference in this recording is the impact that is added by the meaningful phrasing of the vocal lines and absence of bland characterisation. The passages in Act I Scene 1 make more sense in expert hands and one can now understand the effects Sullivan was striving to achieve in his score.
Generally, I like the fact that the orchestra is quite forward to allow all layers of orchestration to come across and yet does not unduly mask the singers. However, in the second and third CDs there are times where there seems to be a different balance with the orchestra - more recessed - and sometimes the first and second violins are nearly lost. This said, it does not detract from one’s enjoyment.
Two excellent booklet essays by William Parry and Martin Yates unveil the fascinating background of the Victorian English Opera movement and provide an analysis of Sullivan’s score to help give a wider understanding to the music. I notice that a BBC R3 logo is shown, and this cheers me. For too long the establishment has turned its back on the rich scores of 19th century British composers. Ivanhoe should have been a central work to the 2000 Proms when Sullivan’s centenary took place. We owe it to musicians like Sir Charles Mackerras, Ronald Corp and David Lloyd-Jones to remind us of our previous loss in this genre.

When this recording was planned it was to have been conducted by Richard Hickox who sadly died a year before the recording was to take place and to whom it is dedicated. Thankfully, David Lloyd-Jones picked up the baton and has made an excellent job of providing an interpretation that is sure to please the harshest of critics.
The English Opera House that premiered Ivanhoe still stands, now the Palace Theatre in Cambridge Circus and owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I was surprised to see neither his name nor that of the Arts Council heading the subscription lists: this is the sort of venture they should surely be promoting.

Raymond J Walker


Complete tracklisting
Ivanhoe (1890-91)
Adapted from Sir Walter Scott's novel A Romantic Opera in Three Acts Words by Julian Sturgis
CD 1
Act I
Scene 1. Cedric's Hall at Rotherwood 24:27
1 Introduction - 0:57
2 Cedric: 'Each day this realm of England faints and fails' - 2:35
with Men
3 Isaac: 'Good Thane, most noble Thane, I pray…' - 2:21
with Men, Cedric, Squire
4 Cedric: 'Welcome, Sir Knights!' - 5:17
with de Bracy, Brian, Isaac, Women, Men, Rowena
5 Cedric: 'Drink, drink ye all…' - 3:46
with Men, de Bracy, Brian, Rowena, Ivanhoe
6 Men: 'The Palmer! The holy Palmer!'- 7:27
with Ivanhoe, Cedric, Brian, Rowena, de Bracy
7 De Bracy: 'Is she not fair? And she is rich withal' 2:01
with Brian, Men
Scene 2. An Ante-room in Rotherwood 14:09
8 Rowena: 'O moon, art thou clad in silver mail…' - 4:30
9 Rowena: 'Good Palmer, thou dist speak of one I knew…' - 6:05
with Ivanhoe
10 Ivanhoe: 'Like mountain lark my spirit upward springs' 3:34
with Isaac
Scene 3. The Lists at Ashby 20:09
11 Sopranos: 'Will there be no more fighting?' - 3:52
with Chorus, Friar, King
12 Chorus: 'Plantagenesta!' - 3:06
13 Prince John: 'Isaac, my Jew, my purse of Gold' - 3:07
with Cedric, de Bracy, Rebecca
14 Prince John: ''Tis from our Royal brother, Louis of France' - 3:30
with Heralds, Crowd
15 Sopranos: 'What means his motto?' 6:32
with Crowd, Friar, Locksley, Prince John, Rowena, Cedric

CD 2
Act II
Scene 1. The Forest, Copmanhurst 19:26
1 King: 'Strange lodging this for England's King' - 5:52
with Friar
2 King: 'There is a custom in the East' - 2:30
with Friar
3 King: 'I ask not wealth nor courtier's praise' - 3:03
4 Friar: 'Not bad, say I, not badly sung!' - 1:12
with King
5 Friar: 'The wind blows cold across the moor' - 3:01
with Outlaws
6 Friar: 'And now for combat! Where's this friend of mine?' 3:45
with King, Lockley, Chorus
Scene 2: A Pasage-way in Torquilstone 9:55
7 Cedric: 'Will not our captor dare to show his face?' - 5:48
with de Bracy, Rowena
8 De Bracy, 'Welcome, Sir Templar! But I may not stay' - 1:07
with Brian
9 Brian: 'Her southern splendour, like the Syrian Moon' 2:59
Scene 3. A Turret-chamber in Torquilstone 22:33
10 Ulrica: 'Whet the keen axes' - 7:26
with Rebecca
11 Rebecca: 'O awful depth below the castle wall!' - 1:06
12 Rebecca: 'Lord of our chosen race' - 3:16
13 Rebecca: 'Take thou these jewels; here is wealth enow…' - 7:55
with Brian
14 Rebeccca: 'What sound is that?' 2:48
with Brian
CD 3
Scene 1. A Room in Torquilstone 21:04
1 Ivanhoe: 'Happy with winged feet' - 5:33
2 Ulrica: 'Tend thou the Knight thou lovest' - 1:16
with Rebecca
3 Rebecca: 'Ah, would that thou and I might lead our sheep…' - 3:51
with Ivanhoe
4 Ivanhoe: 'But hark! what sound is in mine ear?' - 1:48
with Rebecca
5 Rebecca: 'I see them now; the dark wood moves with bows' - 2:57
with Tenors, Basses, Ivanhoe
6 Ivanhoe: 'How canst thou know what pain it is to lie…' 5:38
with Rebecca, Soldiers, Brian, Outlaws, Ulrica, All
Scene 2. In the Forest 16:50
7 Outlaws: 'Light foot upon the dancing green' - 4:16
with King, Ivanhoe
8 King: 'Maurice de Bracy, faithless knight' - 2:27
with de Bracy
9 King: 'Look, where thy moody father walks apart' - 5:29
with Ivanhoe, Cedric, Rowena
10 Ivanhoe: 'How oft beneath the far-off Syrian Skies…' - 2:29
with Rowena
11 Isaac: 'Knight, Knight of Ivanhoe, I come for thee!' 2:09
with Ivanhoe, Rowena
Scene 3. At Templestowe 16:13
12 Templars: 'Fremuere principes' - 3:06
13 Grand Master: 'Thou Jewish girl, who art condemned to die…' - 4:03
with Rebecca
14 Brian: 'It shall not be' - 2:33
with Grand Master, Rebecca
15 Voices: 'A champion! A champion! A champion!' - 1:51
with Ivanhoe, Chorus, Rebecca, Brian
16 Chorus: 'A judgment! A judgment!' - 2:30
with King, Grand Master, Templars
17 King: 'See where the banner of England floats afar…' 2:09
with Templars, Rebecca, Rowena, Ivanhoe, Cedric, All
Dedication: To the late Richard Hickox who took the enthusiastic initiative to record Sir Arthur Sullivan's Ivanhoe and in whose memory this project has now been brought to completion by his friends.



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.