The Mikado In Full Score (Dover Music Scores) Book Pdf
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Sullivan embarked on his composing career with a series of ambitious works, interspersed with hymns, parlour songs and other light pieces in a more commercial vein. His compositions were not enough to support him financially, and between 1861 and 1872 he worked as a church organist, which he enjoyed; as a music teacher, which he hated and gave up as soon as he could; and as an arranger of vocal scores of popular operas.[n 2] He took an early opportunity to compose several pieces for royalty in connection with the wedding of the Prince of Wales in 1863.
With The Masque at Kenilworth (Birmingham Festival, 1864), Sullivan began his association with works for voice and orchestra. While an organist at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, he composed his first ballet, L'Île Enchantée (1864). His Irish Symphony and Cello Concerto (both 1866) were his only works in their respective genres. In the same year, his Overture in C (In Memoriam), commemorating the recent death of his father, was a commission from the Norwich Festival. It achieved considerable popularity. In June 1867 the Philharmonic Society gave the first performance of his overture Marmion. The reviewer for The Times called it "another step in advance on the part of the only composer of any remarkable promise that just at present we can boast." In October, Sullivan travelled with George Grove to Vienna in search of neglected scores by Schubert. They unearthed manuscript copies of symphonies and vocal music, and were particularly elated by their final discovery, the incidental music to Rosamunde.[n 3]
Sullivan's most enduring orchestral work, the Overture di Ballo, was composed for the Birmingham Festival in 1870.[n 4] The same year, Sullivan first met the poet and dramatist W. S. Gilbert.[n 5] In 1871 Sullivan published his only song cycle, The Window, to words by Tennyson, and he wrote the first of a series of incidental music scores for productions of Shakespeare plays.[n 6] He also composed a dramatic cantata, On Shore and Sea, for the opening of the London International Exhibition, and the hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers", with words by Sabine Baring-Gould. The Salvation Army adopted the latter as its favoured processional, and it became Sullivan's best-known hymn.
In 1899, to benefit "the wives and children of soldiers and sailors" on active service in the Boer War, Sullivan composed the music of a song, "The Absent-Minded Beggar", to a text by Rudyard Kipling, which became an instant sensation and raised an unprecedented £300,000 (equivalent to £35,900,000 in 2021) for the fund from performances and the sale of sheet music and related merchandise. In The Rose of Persia (1899), Sullivan returned to his comic roots, writing to a libretto by Basil Hood that combined an exotic Arabian Nights setting with plot elements of The Mikado. Sullivan's tuneful score was well received, and the opera proved to be his most successful full-length collaboration apart from those with Gilbert. Another opera with Hood, The Emerald Isle, quickly went into preparation, but Sullivan died before it was completed. The score was finished by Edward German, and produced in 1901.
When Sullivan turned to comic opera with Gilbert, the serious critics began to express disapproval. The music critic Peter Gammond writes of "misapprehensions and prejudices, delivered to our door by the Victorian firm Musical Snobs Ltd. ... frivolity and high spirits were sincerely seen as elements that could not be exhibited by anyone who was to be admitted to the sanctified society of Art." As early as 1877 The London Figaro commented that Sullivan "wilfully throws his opportunity away. ... He possesses all the natural ability to have given us an English opera, and, instead, he affords us a little more-or-less excellent fooling." Few critics denied the excellence of Sullivan's theatre scores. The Theatre commented, "Iolanthe sustains Dr. Sullivan's reputation as the most spontaneous, fertile, and scholarly composer of comic opera this country has ever produced."[n 34] Comic opera, no matter how skilfully crafted, was viewed as an intrinsically lower form of art than oratorio. The Athenaeum's review of The Martyr of Antioch declared: "[I]t is an advantage to have the composer of H.M.S. Pinafore occupying himself with a worthier form of art."
Sir Henry Wood continued to perform Sullivan's serious music. In 1942 Wood presented a Sullivan centenary concert at the Royal Albert Hall, but it was not until the 1960s that Sullivan's music other than the Savoy operas began to be widely revived. In 1960 Hughes published the first full-length book about Sullivan's music "which, while taking note of his weaknesses (which are many) and not hesitating to castigate his lapses from good taste (which were comparatively rare) [attempted] to view them in perspective against the wider background of his sound musicianship." The work of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society, founded in 1977, and books about Sullivan by musicians such as Young (1971) and Jacobs (1986) contributed to the re-evaluation of Sullivan's serious music. The Irish Symphony had its first professional recording in 1968, and many of Sullivan's non-Gilbert works have since been recorded. Scholarly critical editions of an increasing number of Sullivan's works have been published. 2b1af7f3a8