Hard-to-find compositions by Arthur Sullivan, a British composer, are published in our sound library
Arthur Sullivan melodic ingenuity was unequalled. His outstanding music sounded in every English house, everyone loved his festive hymns and the royal family respected his name. In 1883, Queen Victoria beknighted Sullivan. He conducted at festivals and the performances of his own large choral compositions – “The Prodigal Son”, “The Light of the World”, “The Martyr of Antioch” and “The Golden Legend”. Some people asserted that Sullivan’s best work was the operetta “Mikado”, while others considered “The Yeomen of the Guard” to be unrivaled. The operettas contributed to the unfading glory of Sullivan. In collaboration with the outstanding librettist Gilbert, Sullivan wrote many magnificent operas, some of them were performed more than 350 times and met with the international success. The composer's single major opera, “Ivanhoe”, was staged in 1891 and withstood 155 performances.
During his life, Sullivan created 23 operas, 13 major orchestral compositions, 8 choral works and oratorios, 2 ballets, numerous hymns and church music, ballads, songs, and many other pieces. Although some of the Sullivan’s serious works were successful during his lifetime, most of them were forgotten – in contrast to his comic operas, which are still very popular, especially in English-speaking countries.
His operas were often performed in the original and staged in the foreign languages as well; they were frequently quoted in comedy performances, commercials, movies, television programmes and other popular media. His creative work influenced British and American musical theaters, the content and form of his works, written in collaboration with Gilbert, had a direct impact on the development of contemporary musicals throughout the 20th century.
On May 13, to commemorate the birthday of the prominent English composer Arthur Sullivan, we publish a music compilation comprised of his works and recorded from the Musical box with pinned cylinder and automaton (Switzerland, 1880s).