Notes & Reviews:
The Beauty Stone is a neglected gem among the works of Arthur Sullivan, better known for his famous collaboration with W.S Gilbert. In this premiere commercial recording, featuring some of the finest singers on the stage today, all original music has been restored. This release follows Chandos' highly regarded recording of Ivanhoe.
The Guardian, 7th November 2013
It has never been recorded by professional singers before, and Rory Macdonald seems to have prepared with academic scrupulousness...it's very strongly cast, too, but there's no sense of an important rediscovery here.
Sunday Times, 17th November 2013
Sullivan's score is charming, if hardly vintage, and is delivered here with brio by Rory McDonald and leading G&S lights.
MusicWeb International, 16th December 2013
[Macdonald's] exacting skill in the handling of pace, dynamics and texture is very much admired. The teasing out of nuances in the score allows the listener to appreciate the reasons why Sullivan is set on a higher plane than many of his contemporaries...A most enjoyable find.
BBC Music Magazine, January 2014
A deftly woven score, intriguingly cast in several registers...Sullivan's sophisticated add another layer of delight. The recording and presentation are admirable...I wish Toby Spence's epicurean lord had more and stronger material, but a magic stone, as the opera proves, can't work every miracle.
Financial Times, 28th December 2013
Thanks to the discovery of Sullivan's autograph score, it comes to life in this sparkling recording...The medieval-mystery plot may be hokum, but there are enough scenes of musical depth to justify a reassessment.
Gramophone Magazine, January 2014
Opie revels in his Faustian role...[Thomas's] youthful soprano voice is well focused throughout and her identification with the part is never in doubt...Evans offers a vivid and dramatic profile of Saida...There's some lovely playing from the BBC NOW, particularly in the score's more reflective moments.
American Record Guide, July/August 2014
The performances are mostly fine, with some excellent singing from Toby Spence as Philip, Alan Opie as the Devil, Elin Manahan Thomas as Laine, and Rebecca Evans as Saida. The BBC Orchestra of Wales performs admirably. The set includes a 136-page booklet in English, German, and French with copious explanations of the original production, a long plot synopsis, publicity stills, musical notations, and an English only libretto.
Recording information: BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales (01/29/2013-02/03/2013).
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Works DetailsSullivan, Arthur : The Beauty Stone, musical drama
- Conductor: Rory MacDonald
- Ensemble: BBC National Chorus of Wales
- Notes: BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales (01/29/2013-02/03/2013)
- Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Written: 1898