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Sullivan sparkles in this Naxos release,
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This review is from: Sullivan: Pineapple Poll and Irish Symphony (Audio CD)
Sullivan's melodic gifts were extraordinary, as amply demonstrated in this sparkling release from Naxos.
Sullivan himself write two ballets: `L'ile Echantee' and `Victoria and Merry England' but Pineapple Poll is the ultimate Gilbert and Sullivan ballet, using a libretto drawn from Gilbert's `Bab Ballads' and making a brilliant quilt of tunes from the Savoy Operas, but also from Sullivan's other music.
Charles Mackerras arranged the ballet and was not constrained by the more modest forces used in Sullivan's pit band. Consequently, we have a sumptuous expansion of the instrumentation, together with some inspired conflation and counterpoint of well-known Sullivan tunes. The piece is jam-packed with melodic invention, and exhilarating for it.
It is a pity that Sullivan expended so much of his considerable talents in oratorios and operettas: however, he was addressing the tastes of his time, and his collaborations with Gilbert have guaranteed his place in musical history ( and are masterpieces of their kind).
His Symphony in E (commonly know as the `Irish', but more accurately titled `In Ireland' by its composer) shows just what Sullivan could do in the more "serious" idiom when his inspiration and craftsmanship were working at full capacity. This is a fresh and original work, which receives an exemplary performance here: at Naxos budget price, it should go some way to furthering the popularity of this piece.
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under David Lloyd-Jones are on top form. Recommended without reservation.