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The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert and Sullivan (Cambridge Companions to Music) Hardcover – 6 Aug 2009

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Book Description

Investigating the fascinating worlds and memorable work of Gilbert and Sullivan, this Companion provides a fresh approach to their musical legacy and enduring popularity. Written by an international team of specialists, and featuring a personal account by film director Mike Leigh, the book is perfect for enthusiasts and students alike.

About the Author

David Eden is a former Chairman of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society and is currently editor of its Magazine.

Meinhard Saremba is a freelance author and broadcaster.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Essays with a focus on the music 2 July 2013
By Violetta - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This worthy contribution to the Cambridge Companions series is a collection of essays by musicologists, literary scholars, and other specialists. In a way, the book represents a snapshot of up-to-date scholarship, and unlike many other books on Gilbert and Sullivan, this one acknowledges a focus on the music. The book is intended for "enthusiasts, performers, and students" of Gilbert and Sullivan's works, but it will appeal most to readers who are knowledgeable about opera and 19th-century music. Readers who seek to understand some of the issues that have been misunderstood about the collaborations between these two artists will enjoy the discussion of myths and half-truths. Some of the issues might seem slightly trivial to the average reader (such as whether the names ought to read "Sullivan and Gilbert"), but this is the stuff of scholarship, and there are many significant and thought-provoking issues too.

One of the most accessible essays--and for me one of the most enjoyable--is an account from the director of the film, "Topsy-Turvy," Mike Leigh, in which he candidly discusses many of the issues the film raises and describes the depth of research and detail that went into making it. There is a scene-by-scene list of Leigh's comments that gives background about historical facts, musical selections, and dialogue in the film. I found it fascinating.

My only wish is that the last part of the book on productions today, and the outlook for Gilbert and Sullivan, might have gone a bit farther. The portion about musical scores and sources for the operas is relatively thin. Overall though, this is an indepth study of these great comic operas, sure to please the serious reader and enthusiast.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A serious study of Gilbert and Sullivan 7 Oct. 2009
By Father John Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This works is a major contribution to knowledge about Gilbert and Sullivan because it treats their works as comic operas. It shows that Sullivan was a serious composer and his work with Gilbert not simply as a diversion from more serious work.

Fr. John W. Morris
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