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  • Arthur Sullivan - On Shore and Sea (1871) & Kenilworth (1864)
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Arthur Sullivan - On Shore and Sea (1871) & Kenilworth (1864) Classical

Price: £10.99
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Vocalion/Dutton Epoch Direct (Crazygreen8).

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Arthur Sullivan - On Shore and Sea (1871) & Kenilworth (1864) + John Foulds Vol. 4 - Saint Joan Suite, Puppet Ballet Suite, The Vision of Dante Prelude and other works
Price For Both: £21.98

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Classical
  • Label: Dutton Epoch
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,029 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Arthur Sullivan had a life and career before and beyond the Savoy operas. In the now completely unknown cantata On Shore and Sea of 1871 and the earlier "Masque" Kenilworth, with which the 22-year-old composer fulfilled his first commission for a major choral festival (at Birmingham), we have two scores all lovers of Sullivan - as well as those exploring the still forgotten tuneful delights of Victorian cantatas - will revel in. Already the master of the charming aria, catchy number and delightful chorus, we can share with Sullivan's first audiences the pleasure of melodic discoveries in works commissioned from the coming man of mid-Victorian music. Under the authoritative direction of Richard Bonynge the music of Sullivan is vibrantly restored to us in these enthusiastic performances. Track listing: On Shore and Sea (1871): A dramatic cantata [tracks 1-10] / Kenilworth (1864): A masque [tracks 11-20] / Recorded: Urmston Grammar, Manchester, 2-3 November 2013 / Sally Silver (soprano), Nico Darmanin (tenor), Louise Winter (mezzo-soprano), Donald Maxwell (bass baritone), The John Powell Singers, Victorian Opera Northwest conducted by Richard Bonynge

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Albion on 13 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
This release has been keenly anticipated by all those who follow the remarkably enterprising Victorian Opera Northwest and proves to be a truly splendid vindication of their endeavour. 'Kenilworth' (1864) has been recorded before on the Symposium label but 'On Shore and Sea' (1871) will be completely unfamiliar to the vast majority of listeners. 'Kenilworth' was Sullivan's first major choral commission, for the Birmingham festival, and is clearly the work of a composer just beginning to find his feet in the genre. The standard of invention varies from number to number but everything is attractively melodic and orchestrated with aplomb - the highlight is the richly romantic duet interpolated from 'The Merchant of Venice', "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank". 'On Shore and Sea' proves to be a much stronger piece, the libretto by Tom Taylor (1817-1880), providing the composer with a simple tale of lovers parted by war and then reunited but crucially also opportunities for vividly exotic instrumentation - the 'Chorus of Moslem Triumph' will amaze anyone who thinks that they know their Sullivan. Even the 'Chorus of Christian Captives', which looks dull in the piano-only vocal score, comes to life when coloured by the orchestra. The final chorus, extolling the benefits of Peace in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, is a thrillingly over-the top paean. All four soloists on this recording are fully up to the demands of Sullivan's vocal lines and the chorus is expertly-drilled and enter fully into their assigned collective roles. This is by far the strongest orchestra that Victorian Opera have fielded (there are no caveats in this department) and the recorded sound is wonderfully clear without being in the least bit dry or too closely-miked. Above all, Richard Bonynge is the ideal conductor to guide us through this unfamiliar fare, which he does with his customary elan. A lovely disc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rimsky on 22 Aug. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good points: excellent orchestra, conductor, mezzo and bass soloists(both with little to do!). Weaknesses: soprano and tenor soloists,whose voices are not particularly pleasant to listen to, the chorus which is too small to do justice to Sullivan's demands, and the recording which needs more focus. It is disappointing that most of the diction of all concerned is too poor for most of the words to be heard - so it is a 'good thing' that the libretti can be downloaded.
As for the two works: very pleasant Sullivan, but not that memorable. The best item/movement is probably the Moresque dance, which is for orchestra alone, so perhaps stronger vocal performances would have helped the rest of the music?
However, it is good to have this music available on CD. The alternative version of Kenilworth has similar weaknesses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD
These two lesser known works by Sullivan certainly make pleasant listening, but although they include some tuneful and at times stirring music, I don’t think that anyone would expect them to become a part of the regular choral repertoire. One must be grateful, however, to Dutton Epoch for recording these works on this CD, recorded in Manchester in November 2013, will undoubtedly give a lot of pleasure to anyone who has the opportunity to hear it.

The first work on the disc, “On Shore and Sea”, was first performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1871, to mark the third incarnation of the Great Exhibition. The concert featured music from four countries; Gounod was the French composer, while the young Sullivan represented the United Kingdom. The work is a dramatic cantata, with a libretto by one Tom Taylor. Set on the Genoese coast and at sea, this “charming and picturesque” work, to quote a contemporary critic, is mildly exotic and oriental in flavor and has, indeed, many delightful moments.

The masque “Kenilworth” is a musical portrayal of the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Kenilworth Castle in 1575. Its first performance in 1864 featured a huge orchestra and a stellar quartet of vocal soloists, including the baritone Charles Santley, whose song “I am a Ruler on the Sea” became a popular drawing-room ballad. The work was a success with audiences, but critics found it rather “slight”; there is, however, much to enjoy here.

The splendid soprano and tenor soloists in “On Shore and Sea” are Sally Silver and Nico Darmanin, whose name is, I would suggest, one to watch out for. In “Kenilworth” they are joined by the excellent mezzo Louise Winter and the veteran baritone Donald Maxwell, who, despite singing with his customary verbal acuity, rather shows his age in his big solo.
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