A Sullivan Ballad -
Duet for Flute and Alto Saxophone (or Clarinet) from The Pirates of Penzance
(Sir Arthur Sullivan arr. Philip Sparke)
The Pirates of Penzance is perhaps Gilbert and Sullivanís most popular operetta. It premiered simultaneously in America and England in December 1879 (to secure copyright in both countries) before starting a run of 363 performances at the Opera Comique in London the following year, having already been playing successfully for over three months in New York.
It is the story of Frederic, who was apprenticed to a band of tender-hearted, orphaned pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master's instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot. Frederic, upon completing his 21st year, rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is now free to return to respectable society. But it turns out that he was born on February 29 in leap year, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday. By the end of the opera, the pirates, a Major General who knows nothing of military strategy, his large family of beautiful but unwed daughters, and the timid constabulary all contribute to a cacophony that can be silenced only by Queen Victoria's name.
Towards the end of Act II Frederic sings a hauntingly simple love duet with Mabel - Ah, leave me not to pine alone and desolate - which is arranged here as a duet for flute and alto saxophone (or clarinet)