The sad news of the death at age 84 of the great Australian conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, sees the passing of one of the world’s finest musicians, and one of Australia’s most important classical music exports. Perhaps most famous for his championing of Czech music, and particularly that of Leos Janacek, he was in reality a remarkable all-rounder who gave glowing performances of any music he turned his attention to, including Mozart, Elgar, Beethoven and his beloved Gilbert and Sullivan.

This set of CDs brings together 5 of the most popular G & S operas, all conducted by Sir Charles and with casts that include some of the finest British performers of the day; very important when getting Gilbert’s words across!

Telarc, 1999

Telarc, 1999

You can watch and hear Mackerras in action in the opera house in this DVD performance of Janacek’s marvellous opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, filmed in the lovely Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in 1995

Arthaus Music, 1995

Arthaus Music, 1995

Although resident in England for many years Mackerras was a frequent visitor to Australia, and on one of those trips he conducted this blazing performance of Beethoven’s mighty Missa Solemnis at the Sydney Opera House,  fortunately recorded by the ABC.

ABC, 1992

ABC, 1992

Nancy Phelan’s 1987 biography, Charles Mackerras, a Musicians’ Musician, explores an extraordinary life that had many more achievements ahead. Fortunately we can continue to explore and enjoy his very rich legacy through the remarkable number of recordings he left behind. To find more of his material here at the Library, just check the catalogue.

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