The Grossmith Legacy


Catalogue No: DDV 24109
EAN/UPC: 809730410925
Artists: ,
Release Date: August 2003
Genres: , , ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 74:12

Grossmith was one of Britain’s top music hall artists at the turn of the 20th century, and also successfully toured the American vaudeville theatres. His comic songs (some written in collaboration with W S Gilbert) range widely in style and many came from shows and revues which enjoyed great success. He was also the creator of several roles in the Savoy Operas. The best-selling novel “Diary of a Nobody” , written by “GG” together with his brother Weedon, is still in print.

Sadly he never recorded himself, but Leon Berger and Selwyn Tillett, acknowledged authorities on Grossmith and his music, have re-created them wonderfully in period style. This disc includes some items from operetta not written by “GG” but immortalised by him, in roles created by him.

This CD also includes two original performances by George Grossmith III, recorded in 1909 and digitally remastered.

Track Listing

    George Grossmith:

  1. The gay Photographer (2:45)
  2. I am so Volatile (2:20)
  3. The Muddle-Puddle Porter (2:20)
  4. Arthur Sullivan:

  5. . The Sorcerer – My Name is John Wellington Wells (2:30)
  6. George Grossmith:

  7. A Juvenile Party (9:41)
  8. Mistress and Maid (3:17)
  9. The Speaker’s Eye (3:21)
  10. The Parrot and the Cat (3:49)
  11. The Bay of Battersea (2:29)
  12. Arthur Sullivan:

  13. Ruddigore – I Once was as Meek as a New Born Lamb (3:57)
  14. Ruddigore – Away Remorse / Henceforth all the Crimes (2:25)
  15. George Grossmith:

  16. The Very Much up to Date Mama (2:47)
  17. The Truth, or Something Near It (2:11)
  18. Keep the Baby Warm, Mother (4:07)
  19. Thou of my Thou (4:20)
  20. I’ve Loved another Girl Since Then (3:37)
  21. Lionel Monckton:

  22. Beautiful Bountiful Bertie (3:16)
  23. George Grossmith:

  24. Johnnie at the Gaiety (3:48)
  25. Alexander Mackenzie:

  26. I was Born upon a Sunday (3:56)
  27. Cuthbert Clarke:

  28. Bertie the Bounder (3:07)
  29. John Flynn:

  30. Yip-I-Addy-I-Ay (4:04)


Gilbert & Sullivan Archive

Even the pieces that lack any G&S connection are enjoyable and significant to an appreciation of the era when their operas were created. One caution: Set aside time when you can really listen to these numbers. This is not background music, but depends for its effect on listening carefully to every word: thankfully, all of the songs come across clearly, thanks to Leon Berger’s superb diction, even in the patter songs. He is to be commended for getting his arms around some very difficult material, most of which was written by, and for, a man of unique talents the likes of which we may never see again

” —Marc Shepherd

the recording is clear and well balanced… the juxtaposition [with Sir Thomas Allen’s Hyperion disc] can be no greater recommendation of Berger’s performance… a very worthwhile addition to the recorded stock of Victorian songs and ballads

” —Robert J Farr
Federation Of Recorded Music Societies Bulletin

Most of the songs and sketches have not been sung for nearly a century and not only are pleasant in their own light but also gives a fascinating insight into Victorian Concert Parties. The final two items on the disc are not by the modern artists listed above, but are … sung by George Grossmith III recorded in 1909. Apart from the recording, one would have thought this was the same singer as the other items — a good illustration of how well Leon Berger has caught the Grossmith way of singing. The accompaniment is very important in this material and Selwyn Tillett’s playing sounds just right. The recording and notes are up to the usual high standard of Divine Art Records. An unusual disc, interesting and entertaining.

” —Arthur Baker
For The Record

If you like Gilbert & Sullivan, then I am sure you will enjoy this CD… anyone with the slightest sense of humour will find much here to enjoy. Thanks to Leon Berger’s superb diction, every word comes across clearly and he does a wonderful job of infusing great personality into these songs. Selwyn Tillett accompanies on the piano with both sensitivity and virtuosity. Very nostalgic and enjoyable – go and buy this wonderful CD.

” —Colin Loffler
Eagle Times

shows the Victorian and Edwardian ages at their most humorous… sprightly tunes, funny lyrics, and the need for excellent enunciation…here Leon Berger excels… Great fun

” —Frank Behrens
MusicWeb International

[Leon Berger’s] remarkably versatile voice with wide compass provides much variety of character and colour from track to track. It is generally for this reason that this disc so successfully holds the listener’s attention…Unobtrusive accompaniment is sensitively and competently provided by Selwyn Tillett who has much experience of studying and playing Victorian music. His light and nimble fingerwork is a joy to listen to and is always closely married to the voice… The disc is likely to be highly appreciated

” —Raymond Walker