Tom Stoppard, André Previn, The London Symphony Orchestra ‎– Every Good Boy Deserves Favour "A Play For Actors And Orchestra"

RCA Red Seal ‎– BL 12855
Vinyl, LP, Stereo, Gatefold


A Every Good Boy Deserves Favour "A Play For Actors And Orchestra" (Part 1)
B Every Good Boy Deserves Favour "A Play For Actors And Orchestra" (Conclusion)



Every Good Boy Deserves Favour was first performed at the Royal Festival Hall London on 1 July 1977, at the opening concert of the John Player Centenary Festival.

Cast in order of speaking:

Ivanov: Ian Richardson
Alexander: Ian McKellen
Teacher: Elizabeth Spriggs
Sasha: Andrew Sheldon
Doctor: Patrick Stewart
Colonel: Philip Locke

From the notes by Andre Previn:

The principal thing to remember about this piece is its subtitle "A Play For Actors And Orchestra." That emphasis is quite correct. It is a play with music and not a symphonic work with words.

From the notes by Tom Stoppard:

My qualifications for writing about an orchestra amounted to a spell as a triangle player in a kindergarten percussion band. I informed my collaborator that the play would be about a millionaire triangle player with his own orchestra.

This basic implausibility bred others and at the point where the whimsical edifice was about to collapse I tried to save it by making the orchestra a mere delusion of the millionaire's brain. Once the orchestra became an imaginary orchestra there was no need for the millionaire to be a millionaire either. I changed tack: the play would be about a lunatic triangle player who thought he had an orchestra.

...This is where matters stood when in April 1976 I met Victor Fainberg... I knew that Mr. Fainberg had been one of a group of people arrested in Red Square in August 1968 during a peaceful demonstration against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. He had been pronounced insane - a not unusual fate for perfectly sane opponents of Soviet tyranny - and in 1974 had emerged into exile from five years in the Soviet prison-hospital system.

...Mr. Fainberg's single-mindedness, his energy (drawing more on anger than on pity) and his willingness to make a nuisance of himself... prompted the thought that his captors must have been quite pleased to get rid of him. He was not a man to be broken or silenced; an insistent, discordant note, one might say, in an orchestrated society,

I don't recall that I consciously made the metaphor but very soon I was able to tell Mr. Previn, definitively, that the lunatic triangle player who thought he had an orchestra was now sharing a cell with a political prisoner. I had something to write about and in a few weeks the play was finished.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side 1): BL-12855-A-1E
  • Matrix / Runout (Side 2): BL-12855-B-1E