Sullivan, A :: Pirates of Penzance

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  • Composer
    Sullivan, A
  • Instrumentation
    Woodwind Quartet
  • Publisher
    Musicians Publications [WR143]
  • Editor
    Holcombe, Bill; Holcombe Jr, Bill (arr)
  • Orchestration
    fl, ob, cl, bsn
  • Includes CD or Audio Download
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Opera
Qty:  
Pirates of Penzance
Sullivan, A

Musicians Publications presents Sir Arthur Sullivan s Pirates of Penzance , 2nd edition arranged for woodwind quartet by Bill Holcombe and Bill Holcombe Jr. Scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, this arrangement also includes a bass clarinet part to substitute for the bassoon when desired.

Fictionalized pirates were popular fixtures of Victorian literature, drama, and opera. A comic opera about an improbable band of tender-hearted pirates ineptly terrorizing a placid seaside resort in Cornwall would have amused audiences in 1879 even without topsy-turvy complications. But W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan actually had another kind of pirate in mind with The Pirates of Penzance : The producers of some 150 pirated' American productions of H.M.S. Pinafore ,their hit from the previous year. An authorized production in the United States was then required to obtain copyright protection for a play or opera. As Gilbert and Sullivan had not yet brought Pinafore to America, they had no recourse against any of the pirates. So they decided to premiere The Pirates of Penzance in New York, after they opened their authorized production of H.M.S. Pinafore . (A pro-forma public reading of Pirates in Devon the day before the New York opening secured the British copyright.)

In the rush to complete the music and orchestration of an opera in time for opening night, Sullivan usually left the overture for the last minute. When he didn't have time to do it himself, he delegated that task to an assistant. For the Pirates overture, Sullivan turned to Alfred Cellier, who conducted most of the Savoy operas. Cellier's medley overture can stand on its own in the concert hall thanks to the appealing tunes it contains. Notably, it begins and ends with what would later become famous (with a new unauthorized lyric) as Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here. -Ted R. Marcus

This woodwind quintet is advanced in difficulty and 8:00 in duration.

  • Composer
    Sullivan, A
  • Instrumentation
    Woodwind Quartet
  • Publisher
    Musicians Publications [WR143]
  • Editor
    Holcombe, Bill; Holcombe Jr, Bill (arr)
  • Orchestration
    fl, ob, cl, bsn
  • Includes CD or Audio Download
    No
  • Classification
    Not Applicable
  • Genre
    Opera
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