Wikipedia

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900) was an English composer. He is best known for his series of 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including such enduring works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Sullivan composed 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous hymns and other church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. The best known of his hymns and songs include "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord".

The son of a military bandmaster, Sullivan composed his first anthem at age eight. He was selected as soloist in the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal. In 1856, the Royal Academy of Music awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship to the 14-year-old Sullivan, allowing him to study first at the Academy and then in Germany, at the Leipzig Conservatoire. His graduation piece was a suite of incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest. When it was performed in London in 1862, it was an immediate sensation. Sullivan began his composing career with a series of ambitious works, interspersed with hymns, parlour ballads and other light pieces. Among his best received early pieces were a ballet, L'Île Enchantée (1864), and his Irish Symphony, Cello Concerto and Overture in C (In Memoriam) (all in 1866). From 1861 to 1872, he supplemented his income by working as a church organist and music teacher.

In 1866, Sullivan composed a one-act comic opera, Cox and Box, which is still widely performed. His most successful orchestral work, the Overture di Ballo, premiered in 1870. Sullivan's talent and native charm earned him many friends in musical and social circles, including Queen Victoria's son Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. In 1871, Sullivan wrote his first opera with W. S. Gilbert, Thespis. Sullivan then produced his Festival Te Deum (1872), an oratorio, The Light of the World (1873), and among other pieces incidental music for West End productions of several Shakespeare plays. He also had conducting and academic appointments. In 1875, producer Richard D'Oyly Carte reunited Gilbert and Sullivan to create a one-act piece, Trial by Jury, which was a surprise hit. Their 1878 opera H.M.S. Pinafore became an international sensation, as did The Pirates of Penzance (1879) and Patience (1881). Sullivan never married but had a long love affair with an American socialite, Fanny Ronalds. After the death of his brother Fred in 1877, Sullivan supported Fred's large family financially for the rest of his life, effectively adopting his nephew Bertie.

Carte used his profits from the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership to build the Savoy Theatre in 1881, and their joint works then became known as the Savoy operas. Later hits in the series were Iolanthe (1882), The Mikado (1885), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888) and The Gondoliers (1889). Sullivan was knighted for his contributions to music in 1883. His infrequent serious pieces during the 1880s included two oratorios, The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and The Golden Legend (1886), his most popular choral work. Sullivan's only serious opera, Ivanhoe, though initially successful in 1891, was little-heard after that. Gilbert broke from Sullivan in 1890, quarrelling over expenses at the Savoy. They reunited in the 1890s for two more operas, but those did not achieve popularity. Sullivan continued to compose comic operas with other librettists and a number of other major and minor works throughout the decade. He died at the age of 58, regarded as Britain's foremost composer. His comic opera style served as a model for the generations of musical theatre composers that followed, and his music is still frequently performed, recorded and pastiched.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 Sullivan: Cello Concerto in D / Herbert: Cello Concerto no. 2 / Elgar: Romance Sullivan, Herbert, Elgar; Julian Lloyd Webber, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1992 Ballet Music (RTE Concert Orchestra feat. conductor: Andrew Penny) Sir Arthur Sullivan 1
1994 A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Bramwell Tovey) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1999 BBC Music, Volume 7, Number 9: The Rose of Persia Sir Arthur Sullivan 2
2001 BBC Music, Volume 9, Number 7: Te Deum, Cello Concerto, Macbeth Overture (BBC Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Charles Mackerras, cello: Paul Watkins) Sir Arthur Sullivan 1
2003 The Complete Gilbert & Sullivan Gilbert & Sullivan 1
2008 Shakespeare's Tempest Sir Arthur Sullivan, Jean Sibelius; The Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern 2
2010 Ivanhoe: Act 1 Sir Arthur Sullivan 1
Gilbert & Sullivan Overtures Gilbert & Sullivan; D'Oyly Carte Opera Company Orchestra 1
Operettas Gilbert & Sullivan 0

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 World of Gilbert & Sullivan Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1998 The Ultimate Gilbert and Sullivan Gilbert & Sullivan 1
2000 The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan (D’Oyly Carte Opera Company) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
2001 Vintage Favourites Gilbert & Sullivan 1
2002 Favourite Gilbert and Sullivan Gilbert & Sullivan 1
2003 The Gold Collection Gilbert & Sullivan 1
A Gilbert & Sullivan Gallery Gilbert & Sullivan 1
A Gilbert & Sullivan Songbook Gilbert & Sullivan 1
Accompaniment CD: Gilbert & Sulivan Volume 1 Sir William Gilbert, Sir Arthur Sullivan 1
Gilbert & Sullivan Weekend Gilbert & Sullivan 1
Gilbert and Sullivan Highlights Gilbert & Sullivan 1
Gilbert and Sullivan Highlights (Thomas Edmonds, Dennis Olsen, feat. orchestra: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conductor: James Christiansen) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company Performs Gilbert & Sullivan: 56 Favourites Gilbert & Sullivan 1
The Very Best of Gilbert & Sullivan Gilbert & Sullivan 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1952 Iolanthe (1951 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1957 The Mikado (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 3
1973 The Mikado (1973 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 2 15
1986 The Gondoliers (1960 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 4 2
1986 The Mikado: Highlights From the English National Opera Production Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1987 Iolanthe (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1987 Patience / Irish Symphony (feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor: Sir Charles Groves) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1987 Ruddigore / The Tempest / The Merchant of Venice Suite (feat conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor: Sir Vivian Dunn) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1987 The Mikado (The English National Opera) Gilbert & Sullivan 2
1989 H.M.S. Pinafore (1959 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 5 2
1989 Iolanthe (1960 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 4 2
1989 Patience (1961 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 2
1989 The Pirates of Penzance (1967 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 5 2
1989 The Yeomen of the Guard (1964 D’Oyly Carte cast) / Trial by Jury (1963 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 4 2
1990 The Mikado (The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1990 The Pirates of Penzance (The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company feat. conductor: John Pryce Jones) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1991 The Mikado: Highlights (The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company feat. orchestra: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Royston Nash) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1992 The Yeomen of the Guard (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1992 H.M.S. Pinafore / Trial by Jury (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1992 The Mikado Gilbert & Sullivan; Orchestra & Chorus of the Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1992 The Pirates of Penzance (Pro Arte Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Chorus feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 3 1
1993 The Gondoliers (Glyndebourne Festival Chorus, Pro Arte Orchestra feat. conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent) Gilbert & Sullivan 2
1993 Princess Ida (1965 D’Oyly Carte cast) / Pineapple Poll Gilbert & Sullivan; The Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent 3
1993 The Mikado (Complete) / Iolanthe (Highlights) (Sadler's Wells Orchestra & Chorus feat. conductor: Alexander Faris) Gilbert & Sullivan 1
1993 Iolanthe (1991 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 3 1
1993 The Gondoliers (1991 D’Oyly Carte cast) Gilbert & Sullivan 3 1

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