The songs of Gilbert & Sullivan, as with many near-legendary works adopted by an enthusiastic, uncritical public, have not always survived in the most reliable form. A word gets lost or blurred, a strophe is dropped, and the song evolves along uncontrollable lines. Fortunately many of the early vocal scores authorized by Sir Arthur Sullivan still exist – and are reprinted here, in the most complete and authentic anthology of Gilbert & Sullivan currently available.
Ninety-two songs from all fourteen operettas are reproduced in the form Sullivan approved. Each number in this collection – solo, chorus, patter song, ballad, etc. – is presented uncut, unedited, in the original key, in Sullivan’s original piano arrangements. The memorable ditties from the pair’s 25-year collaboration (1871-96) appear, along with many not so well known, including a piece from their first joint effort, Thespis (1871), the entire score of which has been lost except for two numbers.