Four Seasons Madrigal and Gavotte from Ruddigore

By: Arthur Sullivan
For: Wind quartet
page one of Four Seasons Madrigal and Gavotte from Ruddigore

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Composer
Arthur Sullivan
Lyricist
W.S. Gilbert
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
4 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Madrigal and Gavotte from Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan, arranged for woodwind quintet by Peter Dewar-Finch.

This choral Madrigal from the operetta Ruddigore (1887) by Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) is quite difficult to sing for the Principals, and, for a chorus, is quite tricky too. Nonetheless, very effective when done well, especially with no accompaniment at all. I was a mere chorister in the production I was part of in the 1970�s. We had to pay royalties in those days as the grand daughter of Richard D�Oyly Carte was still alive and director of the D�Oyly Carte Opera Company.

One thing W.S Gilbert was not, was a poet. The metre of the lyrics is all over the place, but work well in combination with Sullivan�s music, which, I suppose is the point of them and they do indeed work well as lyrics.

In my regurgitation of the lyrics I have included all of the �Fa la la la la la�s� as they are part of the metre and part of the musical grammer of the piece.

I have scored it for a woodwind quintet to emphasise the Medieval inspiration behind it. At that period in Victorian England High Fashion was going through the very popular Neo-Gothic revival and everything Medieval was revered and treasured. It was evident in architecture, decorating, literature, and in painting, and to a lesser extent, - in high street fashion. I�m surprised that more composers did not �jump on the band-wagon�.

Useful references: http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_and_Sullivan www.doylycarte.org.uk/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Gothic www.wacklepedia.com/g/go/gothic_revival.html

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