ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): The Beauty Stone.
Catalogue Number: 12P003
Reference: CHAN 10794(2)
Description: Coming seven years after his second "serious" work Ivanhoe, the 1898 Beauty Stone fell between two stools with its librettists (one a leading pre-Raphaelite and the other one of the foremost dramatists of the day) thinking it was a drama with music and its composer an opera with dialogue. Set in medieval Flanders, the libretto provides a serious and intricate drama of psychological depth which cost the composer much effort in producing the right orchestral sound but which ultimately bore fruit in rich and romantic music that can only be compared to, say, Sullivan's Te Deum of 1900 and some of the music of The Emerald Isle (unfinished at his death): in short, the beginnings of a much richer and more serious style of which his early death robbed us. The 164-page booklet includes two essays on the work and on the music, a reprint of a contemporary newspaper interview with Sullivan and illustrations including nine photographs from the original production and several original drawings and caricatures of parties involved. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo), Toby Spence (tenor), Stephen Gadd, Alan Opie (baritones), David Stout (bass), BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales; Rory Macdonald.