Arthur Sullivan

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900) was an English composer. He is best known for 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. His works include 24 operas, 11 major orchestral works, ten choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. His hymns and songs include "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord".

The son of a military bandmaster, Sullivan composed his first anthem at the age of eight and was later a soloist in the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal. In 1856, at 14, he was awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship by the Royal Academy of Music, which allowed him to study at the academy and then at the Leipzig Conservatoire in Germany. His graduation piece, incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest (1861), was received with acclaim on its first performance in London. Among his early major works were a ballet, L'Île Enchantée (1864), a symphony, a cello concerto (both 1866) and his Overture di Ballo (1870). To supplement the income from his concert works he wrote hymns, parlour ballads and other light pieces, and worked as a church organist and music teacher.

In 1866 Sullivan composed a one-act comic opera, Cox and Box, which is still widely performed. He wrote his first opera with W. S. Gilbert, Thespis, in 1871. Four years later, the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte engaged Gilbert and Sullivan to create a one-act piece, Trial by Jury (1875). Its box-office success led to a series of twelve full-length comic operas by the collaborators. After the extraordinary success of H.M.S. Pinafore (1878) and The Pirates of Penzance (1879), Carte used his profits from the partnership to build the Savoy Theatre in 1881, and their joint works became known as the Savoy operas. Among the best known of the later operas are The Mikado (1885) and The Gondoliers (1889). Gilbert broke from Sullivan and Carte in 1890, after a quarrel over expenses at the Savoy. They reunited in the 1890s for two more operas, but these did not achieve the popularity of their earlier works.

Sullivan's infrequent serious pieces during the 1880s included two cantatas, The Martyr of Antioch (1880) and The Golden Legend (1886), his most popular choral work. He also wrote incidental music for West End productions of several Shakespeare plays and held conducting and academic appointments. Sullivan's only grand opera, Ivanhoe, though initially successful in 1891, has rarely been revived. In his last decade Sullivan continued to compose comic operas with various librettists and wrote other major and minor works. He died at the age of 58, regarded as Britain's foremost composer. His comic opera style served as a model for generations of musical theatre composers that followed, and his music is still frequently performed, recorded and pastiched.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 13th, 1842 (London), Died London

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1896 - 1953

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 399 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 823 7-in. 4/10/1897 Onward Christian soldiers Brass quartet (unidentified; Berliner Gramophone Co.) Brass quartet, with piano composer  
Berliner 994 7-in. 4/18/1896 Onward Christian soldiers J. W. Myers Male vocal solo composer  
Berliner 1789 7-in. 9/30/1898 The lost chord William F. Hooley Male vocal solo composer  
Berliner 3401 7-in. 7/15/1897 The lost chord Artists vary Cornet solo composer  
Berliner 0206 7-in. 6/10/1899 The Mikado march Sousa's Band Band composer  
Berliner 0293 7-in. 6/27/1899 Iolanthe : Trio Original Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Berliner 0383 7-in. 7/15/1899 Onward Christian soldiers Haydn Quartet Male vocal quartet composer  
Berliner 01020 7-in. Feb. 1900 The absent minded beggar S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo composer  
Berliner 01261 7-in. 4/27/1900 Farewell my own Original Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Berliner 01262 7-in. 4/27/1900 H.M.S. Pinafore : Selection Original Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Berliner 01263 7-in. 4/27/1900 The flowers that bloom in the spring Original Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Berliner 01268 7-in. 4/28/1900 The lost chord E. Francisco [i.e., Emilio de Gorgorza] Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]81 7-in. 6/9/1900 The absent-minded beggar George Broderick Male vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]103 7-in. 6/15/1900 When I was a lad Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]103 10-in. 11/7/1901 When I was a lad Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]199 7-in. 9/15/1900 The absent-minded beggar S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]297 7-in. 11/7/1900 Farewell, my own Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]297 10-in. 11/7/1901 Farewell my own Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]298 7-in. 11/7/1900 Trio from Iolanthe Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]298 10-in. 11/7/1901 Trio from Iolanthe Lyric Trio Mixed vocal trio composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]386 7-in. 12/6/1900 Selection from The Mikado Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]387 7-in. 12/6/1900 Selection from The Mikado Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]388 7-in. 12/6/1900 Selection from Patience Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]389 7-in. 12/6/1900 Selection from Patience Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]390 7-in. 12/6/1900 Selection from Iolanthe Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 399 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Sullivan, Arthur," accessed August 7, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102694.

Sullivan, Arthur. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 7, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102694.

"Sullivan, Arthur." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 7 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102694

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.