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Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)


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Author Topic: Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)  (Read 2734 times)
Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #210 on: October 22, 2021, 06:30:24 pm »

It has always struck me that the two parts of the 1873 oratorio "The Light of the World" are very oddly balanced (in the Dutton recording about 90 and 50 minutes respectively). I wonder why Sullivan and Grove didn't structure Part One to end with the resurrection of Lazarus as it is quite thrilling, leaving the rest as Part Two - I think the "Jerusalem" Overture could quite happily have preceded the journey to said destination.

 Cool

How wonderful to hear the large choruses which close each scene taken up to speed by John Andrews - I suspect that the vast choral forces and acoustics of Sullivan's day necessitated more stately and less dramatic tempi, making for a very long evening indeed.

 Roll Eyes

In many ways, it's as much a dramatic religious opera as Saint-Saens "Samson and Delilah" - Jesus on stage in 1873, now that would have been truly revolutionary.

 Shocked

Incidentally, is it possible that the missing No.7 was a choral continuation of the Magnificat text? It's very odd that the score went to print with this omission without explanation.
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #211 on: November 22, 2021, 10:06:03 am »

Also, appropriately on St Cecilia's Day, Sullivan passed away prematurely aged 58...

 Sad

...but he left us with such a wonderful legacy.

 Smiley

Sullivan and Britten linked by a single day - two great all-rounders across a wide range of genres.
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #212 on: November 23, 2021, 10:34:28 am »

Sullivan wrote two ceremonial odes which deserve to be better known, namely Ode on the opening of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition (1886) and Ode for the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the Imperial Institute (1887). Neither title is likely to evoke much enthusiam in the prospective listener but there is actually some rather fine music in these short choral pieces.

Admittedly, neither sets a brilliant text as supplied by Lord Tennyson and Lewis Morris respectively. The first is the shorter of the two and includes such gems as

Men, that in a narrower day -
Unprophetic rulers they -
Drove from out her mother's nest
That young eagle of the West
[i.e. America]
To forage for herself alone!
Britons, hold your own!


but the inclusion of a soprano solo adds welcome interest.

The second ode is much more expansive and multi-sectioned. Unfortunately, the full score was destroyed in the 1964 Chappell fire but it has been finely reorchestrated by Roger Harris. Again the text is as tub-thumping as you'd expect but Sullivan handles it well and provides a rousing conclusion.

Sullivan conducted his Ode whilst Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone on 4th July 1887 -



The enormous Imperial Institute was completed in 1893 (for the opening of which Sullivan supplied his splendid Imperial March).



Despite vigorous protests (the Institute had survived the Blitz unscathed) it was demolished between 1956 and 1965, only one of many fine Victorian buildings to fall prey to post-war butchery, leaving only the bell tower (on the right hand side of the photograph). The site was redeveloped as Imperial College, decidedly not an architectural improvement -



Fortunately both odes were recorded in 1999 by Symposium (Symposium 1247) on a disc which also includes Kenilworth (1864) and the Boer War Te Deum (1900), Sullivan's final completed work. It's well worth seeking out, although the performances are sluggish and both pieces would benefit from more vigorous tempi.



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« Reply #213 on: November 24, 2021, 01:18:59 pm »

On 24th September 2011, David Owen Norris gave a wonderful day of presentations regarding Sullivan's songs at Gresham College. You can watch, listen and download the audio for each of the five sessions:

https://www.gresham.ac.uk/conference/sullivan-song-day?fbclid=IwAR2PbbnMexQ7czKI2aM8R7epJk7eVI1qeCdLAvtOBFMhjoVdjFgpns4wGX8

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« Reply #214 on: November 24, 2021, 02:47:28 pm »

On 24th September 2011, David Owen Norris gave a wonderful day of presentations regarding Sullivan's songs at Gresham College. You can watch, listen and download the audio for each of the five sessions:

https://www.gresham.ac.uk/conference/sullivan-song-day?fbclid=IwAR2PbbnMexQ7czKI2aM8R7epJk7eVI1qeCdLAvtOBFMhjoVdjFgpns4wGX8

 Smiley

Thanks. A thorughly splendid fellow is David Owen Norris.
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« Reply #215 on: November 24, 2021, 07:23:07 pm »

any thoughts on the various versions of The Merchant of Venice... Sir Vivian Dunn versus the Marco Polo version with Andrew Perry??    I've been having a difficult time locating the Dunn version..
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #216 on: November 25, 2021, 09:10:32 am »

any thoughts on the various versions of The Merchant of Venice... Sir Vivian Dunn versus the Marco Polo version with Andrew Perry??    I've been having a difficult time locating the Dunn version..

Although the Penny recording is complete, I still prefer the Dunn in terms of performance and recording - the Marco Polo acoustic is simply too dry. The Dunn has been reissued several times on CD by EMI, initially as a filler to Malcolm Sargent's Ruddigore. See:

http://gasdisc.oakapplepress.com/sullinci.htm#merchant_of_venice
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #217 on: November 25, 2021, 04:47:44 pm »

Iolanthe is 139 years old today, still not bad for a fairy...



...you'd have though that Jessie Bond could have de-weeded herself for the occasion.

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #218 on: November 25, 2021, 05:02:29 pm »

Iolanthe is 139 years old today, still not bad for a fairy...



...you'd have though that Jessie Bond could have de-weeded herself for the occasion.

 Roll Eyes
Werl, she had been standing on her head at the bottom of a lake for years on end!
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #219 on: November 25, 2021, 09:15:50 pm »

she had been standing on her head at the bottom of a lake for years on end!

Hmmm. Why does that sound strangely familiar?



 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #220 on: November 25, 2021, 09:33:14 pm »

she had been standing on her head at the bottom of a lake for years on end!

Hmmm. Why does that sound strangely familiar?



 Roll Eyes

Give me Iolanthe rather than those blasted Rhinemaidens any day!
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