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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Music from Sullivan without Gilbert, 19 Mar 2010
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Mr. S. J. Bonsor "bonsor2" (Horley, Surrey UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sullivan: Victoria and Merrie England (Audio CD)
This is a recording of the second of Sullivan's two original ballets, a 'jingo-fest' concocted around a celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee,and putting her into a semi-mythical context of an historical pageant.
The music is wonderful, even if it does re-use, wholesale, the music from Sullivan's first ballet 'L'Ile Enchantée', the surviving ballet music from the lost operetta 'Thespis', and his earlier-and rather fine- Imperial March.
The playing of the RTE Sinfonietta under Andrew Penny is never less than compelling and the whole piece can be heartily recommended.
It makes you wish that Sullivan had written more ballet music.
A word of warning though: if you order the CD it will be a CD-R copy of the original Marco polo release, lacking any of the Booklet notes: a little pricey for a (sanctioned) copy, but worth having for this music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable piece, 15 Dec 2013
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We have been a fans of G&S for many years. As most of us do, we enjoyed the well-known pieces like Pirates and Gondoliers first and then moved on to the more obscure, but no less musical works like Utopia Limited and The Grand Duke. Keen to widen our knowledge of Sullivan's music still further, I noticed this recording of Victoria and Merrie England.

It was written as a patriotic ballet to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 so it is entirely orchestral with no lyrics or libretto. There is also no plot but the ballet traces the history of Britain through a series of scenes containing new music and references to other more familiar works. We enjoyed spotting the quotes and also the similarities between some of Sullivan's own music and his previous operettas.

My CD player is not of HiFi standard so I can't comment on the quality of recording but the music itself is very enjoyable indeed. It is good to sit and listen to carefully but equally suitable a 'background music' to create an atmosphere of Victorian nostalgia. The price is also extremely reasonable so I recommend it heartily.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Victoriana of the highest kind., 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Sullivan: Victoria and Merrie England (Audio CD)
This is most enjoyable. Knowing only the suite from this ballet (and how cleverly Sullivan put that suite together), the entire work is full of the most entertaining invention. Excellent performance. Good recording except for that boomy timpani.
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Sullivan: Victoria and Merrie England
Sullivan: Victoria and Merrie England by Sir Arthur Sullivan (Audio CD - 1995)
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