Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) without W. S. Gilbert. L’île Enchantée (1864) is a nearly-one-hour-long ballet score of charm, a light touch, romantic and painterly, occasionally darkly dramatic, reconstructed by Robin Gordon-Powell from the composer’s manuscript and also from orchestral parts. It’s colourful, descriptive and tuneful music (if twee at times and it does become a bit samey) played with style, character and enjoyment by the BBCCO conducted by John Andrews with total sympathy. A couple of numbers from it are recorded for the first time, so too the stirring Procession March (1863), with a hint of The Yeomen of the Guard (from twenty-five years later), whereas Day Dreams (1867) anticipates Elgar’s miniatures, and The Sapphire Necklace (1864) displays Sullivan’s penchant for the stage. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7404 [SACD]. Playing time is eighty-one minutes, and the recording (Watford Colosseum, September last year, Dexter Newman engineering) and the presentation are first-class.

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