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A programme of songs—romantic, swashbuckling, plain silly—from shows staged during the glory days of the Gaiety, Shaftesbury, Daly’s and Adelphi Theatres.
Lionel Monckton was among the very finest British melodists, ranking as such with the likes of Arthur Sullivan, Eric Coates and Ivor Novello. His music encapsulates the gaiety of the Edwardian age, and it is our great loss that we hear so little of it these days. This new recording, with the New London Orchestra under Ronald Corp (a major authority on this music), is the perfect introduction to his charming songs and features soloists Catherine Bott and Richard Suart. Catherine Bott brings her sumptuous voice, cut-glass diction and delightful gifts of characterisation to the service of these songs. Formerly better-known as an early music specialist, her cabaret entertainment London Pride () proved her to be an ideal performer of Monckton’s music. Richard Suart is the master of the patter song and simply one of the greatest G&S interpreters in the world.