Musical Opinion

If you have never listened to the delicious music of Lionel Monckton, or, more likely, if you have not come across his Edwardian Musical Comedies for far too long, then this super Divine Art CD is for you. It was recorded in Tallin, the capital of Estonia, at the State Philharmonic’s Concert Hall and the result is sheer joy. The chosen excerpts are from the Cingalee, the Arcadians, and The Quaker Girl, dating from 1903, 1904 and 1910 respectively. I must admit that The Cingalee, subtitled Sunney Ceylon, was new to me, but now it lives by the CD player and Tea, Tea, Tea and Sloe Eyes are settled nicely in my memory. The other two titles are full of gems and I really regret not having seen a Monckton musical on stage. Hopefully, with this brilliant CD to inspire audiences and the remarkable Theatre Bel-Etage on the loose, Monckton will be back where he belongs.

—Denby Richards