Patience Overture

From Wind Repertory Project
Sir Arthur Sullivan

Arthur Sullivan (arr. Ted R. Marcus)

General Info

Year: 1881 / 2011
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ted R. Marcus
Cost: Score and Parts - $45.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet 1-2-3
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet (optional alternate for String Bass)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone 1-2
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone

Keyboard Synthesizer (optional alternate for Harp, Bells, and/or Xylophone)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's Patience satirizes the Aesthetic movement that exalted "art for art's sake," often to the detriment of content or meaning. The Aesthetic fad was in its heyday when the comic opera premiered in 1881. Aestheticism is mainly associated today with Oscar Wilde, whom producer Richard D'Oyly Carte sent on a lecture tour of the United States in 1882 to prepare audiences for the American production of Patience. Though the Aesthetic elements are no longer topical, the show remains entertaining and highly relevant because it also satirizes the timeless notions of fads, celebrity, pretentiousness, and (of course) romantic love.

In the rush to complete the music and orchestration of a comic 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 Patience overture, Sullivan turned to his 17-year-old student, Eugen d'Albert. It's difficult to determine the actual extent of d'Albert's contribution. Some sources give him full credit for constructing the overture, while others assert he merely orchestrated Sullivan's sketch. Regardless, whoever actually prepared it did a fine job.

The overture begins with a slow introduction built around "Turn, oh turn, in this direction," a song in which a chorus of "twenty lovesick maidens" begs for the attention of a celebrity-du-jour Aesthetic poet. Then the tempo shifts to Allegro Vivace, combining a rapid-fire comic duet ("So go to him and say to him") with a section of the Act 1 finale ("Oh list while we a love confess") to create a suitably rousing curtain-raiser for a topsy-turvy evening.

- Program Note by Ted R. Marcus


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Peninsula Symphonic Winds (Richard Babcock, conductor) - 23 October 2011

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.