ALBUM TITLE: Monckton
WORKS: Songs from the shows
PERFORMER: Catherine Bott (soprano), Richard Stuart (baritone); New London Light Opera Chorus; New London Orchestra/Ronald Corp
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67654
Lionel Monckton was the man who kept the Edwardian age amused, with hits such as The Country Girl, The Arcadians and Our Miss Gibbs enjoying long runs at the Gaiety Theatre and elsewhere in London’s West End. From the selection here, comprising 22 items from 13 shows, one can quite see why. Monckton’s art is eminently entertaining. Numbers such as ‘When I marry Amelia’ from The Toreador (1901) set the toes tapping whether you want them to or not; the melting ‘Under the Deodar’ from A Country Girl (1902) provides a shapely melody, neatly harmonised. The results are delectable.Conductor Ronald Corp knows exactly how this music should go and gives it plenty of verve and dash. Richard Suart brings his Savoyard experience to bear on the words and sells you every number. Catherine Bott, unfortunately, lacks this sense of showbiz and her voice sounds too mature. But the material itself drips with charm.