The London Chorus, New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp (conductor)
During the Victorian era The Golden Legend was second only to Handel's Messiah in popularity and is regarded by Sullivan experts as his finest concert work. Never before recorded in its entirety, Hyperion and Ronald Corp, with support from the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society and The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, have resurrected this masterpiece.
During the summer of 1886 following on from the huge success that was The Mikado, Sullivan hid himself away in a cottage in Yorktown and composed a secular cantata that Gilbert was to recognise as "the biggest thing you've done". Scenes following the premiere at the Leeds Festival on October 15th transcended any known before, with the audience on its feet waving programmes and hats, climbing on chairs and hurling flowers. The choir had formed an opinion of its own of the work at rehearsal, and had accumulated bouquets under their chairs to launch at the composer.
Hailed by Stanford as deserving of a place "on the shelves of the classics", Hyperion is therefore proud to participate in the revival of a work of such enormity, removing The Golden Legend's overwhelming popularity from the archives and placing it righfully in the present.