The Grand Duke


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(Chappell Piano/Vocal Score)

by Steven Lichtenstein

This list is based on a thorough study of the piano/vocal score. I do not have access to an orchestral score, and several of my corrections are based on a comparison with the D'Oyly Carte recording (to which the words "the recording" always refer in this study). Others are based on textual and musical logic. I cannot make the claim that this list is either scholarly or comprehensive, but I believe that, until the Broude edition comes along, it will provide a useful tool for those interested in making an in-depth study of the score.

I have divided my observations into four general categories:

  1. Errors/variants in the vocal parts
  2. Errors/variants in the piano part
  3. Ultra-pedantical corrections, possibly of interest only to myself
  4. Gratuitous observations, ditto
I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Douglas de Lacey, most of whose errata (posted to Savoynet) I have incorporated into my own list for the sake of completeness. I have marked those previously posted by him with the initials DDL after the page/system/measure indication (in some cases, however, I have reworded his original descriptions of the errata). I've also expanded on one brought to my attention by Jim Griffith (JG), and added a scoring anomaly spotted by Marc Shepherd (MS).

Key to measure indications:
A/B/C = Page/System/Measure
L.H. = Left hand (piano part)
R.H. = Right hand


1/4/2 (JG): Altos have an extra "pretty," compared to the tenors and basses, so that their text can match up with the sopranos on 1/4/3. Yet on 2/1/1, their text again matches with the tenors and basses, resulting in the dubious lyrics "Will not Lisa look de-Will not Lisa look delightful." Taking a cue from the beginning of Finale of Act 2 (page 163), I'd say the correct alto lyrics (from 1/4/2 through 2/2/1) should be "Won't it be a pretty, pretty wedding? Will not Lisa look delightful, Lisa look delightful?"

The alto line contains two other lyric-related inconsistencies which I consider to be errors, possibly committed by the compositor rather than the composer (though I have no proof of this). The overall principle that Sullivan followed in laying out the lyrics of this number was to keep the soprano/alto text underlay separate from that of the tenors and basses, who sing exactly the same lyrics — syllable for syllable — throughout the piece. The sopranos and altos have a different word setting, separate from the lower parts (the first instance of this separateness being on the lyrics "Will not Lisa look delightful," which are begun three beats earlier in the women's parts than in the men's). This separate setting is almost always identical between soprano and alto, except on the occasions when the sopranos sing the longer notes of the melody, at 1/4/2, 2/1/2 and 2/3/3. In those three bars, the altos continue singing the quicker notes along with the tenors and basses. When the soprano line reverts to the quicker notes (which happens in the next bar, in each case), the alto line dovetails with it, and the women's parts continue separately from the men's. The mistake that I feel has been made is in the way the parts dovetail. Going by the precedent set at 1/4/2 (in which the altos repeat "pretty" on beat 4, in order to join the sopranos on "wedding" in the next bar), the logical way would be to repeat "plenty" (beat 4 of 2/1/2) and "pretty" (beat 4 of 2/3/3). This would avoid the awkward settings of "shedding, shedding" and "wedding, wedding," giving the alto line an inner consistency that would make it easier to learn and remember.

23/3/3 (DDL): "I" appears only in the score. The libretto and recording have "we."

24/1/2 (DDL): Change "him" to "me." In this case, "him" is clearly wrong, as the men are echoing the women, to whom the "him" would then refer.

40/2/1: That Dummkopf dongs when he should ding, and dings when he should dong! Based on every other appearance of the text (both for "ding-dong" and "sing-song"), the correct order should be "Ding, DING, DONG, ding, dong, dong," not "Ding, DONG, DING, ding, dong, dong!" A mistake anyone might make!

43/2/1: "Spades" should be held only for a quarter-note (see notes on this measure in the Piano Part variants). The same at 47/2/6.

50/1/3 (DDL): Libretto has "prig" instead of "pig."

70/1/3: Not an erratum, just a caveat: Don't allow Ludwig to sing "Grimace, sir!" Note the parenthesized "L" in front of the subsequent line "Look here, sir -- a face sir," which is Ludwig's response to Rudolph's "I jeer, sir, gri- mace, sir!" The names shown over the staff refer to the voice distribution in the first verse, not in the second verse (though the distribution does actually coincide in the first two bars of the system).

70/2/1 (DDL): Change "fact" to "face" in verse 2.

70/2/3 (DDL): Ad lib at least another "tit" after this bar, as the chorus takes over.

71/2/4: This should be a C Major cadence instead of C minor. Tenors should sing E-natural.

72/3/1: "Why, what's that?" in libretto and recording.

73/4/1 (DDL): Change "me" to "you."

74/2/3: Chorus basses: Surely the E should be an F-sharp! On the recording they seem to be singing the E, but it is clearly incorrect. The harmony is D Major, and the intended progression over the five bars beginning with 74/2/1 is clear if you look at the first note the basses sing in each measure: D --> E --> F-sharp (with my correction) --> G-sharp --> A

P. 75-76 (DDL): The 1st Girl is Olga, "Lisa" should be "Elsa", the 2nd Girl is Bertha and the 3rd Girl is Gretchen.

78/1/2 (DDL): Change "duke" to "fate." Very odd typo, this!

84/4/2: Julia's third note should be A-natural (accidental missing).

95/3/5: Libretto and recording both have "new noblesse" rather than "proud noblesse."

105/1/1: Third verse: "And" is not given a specific note. Probably you would stretch it out over both of them.

106/2/2-3: Second verse: syllabification is undoubtedly incorrect. I'm certain the intended syllabification is as follows:

G G Ab Bb Ab G F G F G
Cor- y- ban- tian ma- ni- AC kick, Di- o-

Kenneth Sandford sings it as written, and it's very awkward. He has to stop for a moment to emphasize the "AC" of "maniac." Clearly, it should be on the same F on which the "ACCH" of "Bacchic" appears in the next phrase.

107/3/2-3 (DDL): The possessive pronouns do not match up in the chorus responses, which are not printed out in full in the libretto. Sometimes the chorus repeats Ludwig's words in the first person, at other times it is changed to the third person. Perhaps it isn't very important, but a decision should at least be made in a production situation, so that everyone is singing the same thing.

Ludwig says "if you'll pardon the possessive," a line that I (Steve Lichtenstein) don't understand completely. Might it possibly shed some light on the appropriate possessives used in the chorus response? One thing that I personally cannot pardon is that the chorus response is printed "if you (sic) pardon the posessive" (sic)!

112/4/2 (DDL): Libretto has "her" instead of "his."

112/4/3 (et al): "Jiminy miminy piminy" is missing the necessary (though obvious) 16th-notes.

114/2/1 (DDL): Before "My heart stands still -- with horror chill'd --" add "I have a rival! Frenzy-thrill'd, I find you both together!" Without these lines, the rest of the monologue makes no sense. They were foolishly omitted from the score, presumably for no better reason that that Sullivan wrote no underlying music for them.

128/1/5 (DDL): Libretto has "curtsey" instead of "bow me" here, and at 128/3/1. "Bow me" is perhaps better for singing purposes (Steve Lichtenstein's opinion); possibly Sullivan rewrote it.

144/2/2: In the recording, the chorus basses sing the last two notes in this bar as G-sharp --> B (a third higher than printed). I personally like it as printed; it seems more quirky and funny with the big leap from the high E. The intervals as sung on the recording are probably easier to sing, but not as bold and unexpected, in my opinion. A real chance for the basses to shine, in either case!

Page 146 (DDL): Ludwig has a spoken recit (indication in libretto: "Whispers to them, through symphony"):

"I have a plan -- I'll tell you all the plot of it --
He wants formality -- he shall have a lot of it!
Conceal yourselves, and when I give the cue,
Spring out on him -- you all know what to do!"
148/3/3 (MS): The lowest vocal staff is marked "Three Bass Nobles." This, together with the four Tenor Nobles in the two staves immediately above, makes a grand total of seven nobles singing "We're the supernumeraries" in response to the Prince's introduction of them as "Six supernumeraries."

Without knowing how this discrepancy came about, my inclination would be to alter the score indication to "Two Bass Nobles." This would provide an equal number of male voices on each part of the harmony: two basses on the bass line, two tenors singing "3rd & 4th Tenor Nobles" (which is one musical line) and two tenors (or perhaps baritones or "baritenors") singing "1st & 2nd Tenor Nobles," which is a "divisi" staff containing two seperate musical lines, which are doubled by the Prince and the Herald. Thus, four musical lines sung by eight men. This, unfortunately, leaves the Princess singing the fifth musical line (the melody) on her own, though probably doubled in the orchestra.

Another anomaly arising from the above paragraph: the "3rd & 4th Tenor Nobles" sing higher than the "1st & 2nd Tenor Nobles." This was possibly done as a notational compromise, for the sake of simplifying the score-reader's task. Since the 3rd and 4th parts double the Prince and Herald, it's simpler for a score-reader if the doubled lines are printed close together so they can all be read simultaneously, while giving due attention to the other (separate) voice lines. The editor evidently opted for the musical oddity of putting the low voices above the high voices, rather than the more obvious visual oddity of putting "3rd & 4th Tenor" above "1st & 2nd Tenor."

The best solution from the score-reader's point of view would have been to put the high tenor line (the one which is actually called "3rd & 4th Tenor Nobles") directly under that of the Princess, but marked "1st & 2nd Tenor Nobles," since it's the next highest line after hers. Next should have come a single staff marked "Herald & 3rd Tenor Noble" (or "Costumier & 3rd Noble," if my suggestion for 148/3/4 below is to be followed), followed by another single staff marked "Prince & 4th Noble," and finally the "Two Bass Nobles" staff at the bottom. This would reduce the number of staves to be read, and put everything in the right order. However, the demands of stage heirarchy must be met: all named characters MUST be on top. Supernumeraries, in the ordinary way of things, are lucky to be mentioned in the score at all!

148/3/4: The Herald is given a line to sing (the third staff from the top), yet the last reference to him in the libretto is "Exit Herald" after his song. My inclination would be to interpret the "Herald" on this staff as a curious misprint for "Costumier," this giving the latter something to sing in this number other than his one line at 148/1/1. After all, he at least is undeniably among those present, and it seems odd for him not to sing in the ensemble!

154/1/3: "Vos louis d'or" syllabification is incorrect. The word is "d'or," not "d'ore."
F A C D C B-flat A G F F
Vos lou- is d'or, vos roues de cha- ret- te

N.B. Recently, while assisting Marc Shepherd in the preparation of his indispensable new piano/vocal score of The Grand Duke, I discovered that the above "correction" is in fact inaccurate. The syllabification in the Chappell vocal score does reflect the way Sullivan wrote the words in his autograph score. And as Marc points out in his critical notes, the word needs to be "d'ore" in order to rhyme with "encore." However, as Marc also points out, it has been recorded as "d'or" by John Ayldon of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and it does make the lyrics somewhat easier to sing. Though I no longer agree with my own correction, I do still think it's a reasonable alternative for a performer to consider, if it will allow for greater fluency in his performance. (S. L., 24/2/2006)

154/4/2: Second verse: "inpair" is a misprint for "impair."

155/2/1         Men's chorus, 1st verse: for "broad" read "board."

156/4/2: See 154/1/3.

162/2/5: Another chorus response problem with the possessives. The "wills" in "For which our heads will batter, O" and "For this will suffer agonies" are clearly misprints for "he'll" and "we'll," respectively. I take it that they are referring to themselves this time rather than Ludwig, since it clearly reads "our heads." In verse 2, however, the chorus should surely sing "drive him mad as hatter, O."

163/3/1: On 2/1/3, the altos' first note is G# on "shedding," a third lower than the sopranos. On this equivalent measure of the Act 2 Finale, their first note is B, in unison with the sopranos.

It's possible of course that Sullivan really wrote it that way, though I think it's likely a printer's error. But even if he did write it that way, I would call it a composer's error; it's such a minor musical detail, I can see no reason that he would have really wanted it to be different when everything else was identical. I doubt very much that Sullivan would object to our making the altos' lives a bit easier by letting them sing the G# both times, rather than straining every nerve to remember that one slight difference, which adds nothing to the music. And it's much easier simply to remain on the G#.

164/2/1: Beginning in this measure, I find the text underlay to be quite substandard, particularly for the sopranos. The lyric "wedding" is placed on beat 4, giving an undue emphasis to the soprano's "pretty," and an awkward de-emphasis on "wedding." This contrasts starkly to the much more graceful setting in the opening number of Act 1, at the same point in the music (compare at 4/3/3), where "wedding" comes on beat 1 of the subsequent measure.

Furthermore, from 164/2/1 to the first half of 164/3/2, all four parts have the same identical lyric underlay, which is at variance with the way Sullivan set the opening number of Act 1 (see the discussion above at 1/4/2).

I would like to propose an alternate underlay, which — though it has no scholarly basis whatsoever — I feel is an improvement over what's in the published score, and is something that Sullivan probably would have corrected in a similar (not necessarily identical) way if he had lived longer, and become interested in the project again.

For my particular variant, I found it necessary to include the extra word "very," in order to place the lyrics in an underlay that is comparable to the Act 1 setting. This textual addition may be considered too much of a liberty, but I justify it (to myself, at least) by the fact that the word actually appears in the Act 1 setting, at 4/3/2.

The music shown below demonstrates my idea for making the lyric underlay match as closely as possible between the Act 1 and Act 2 settings. The upper lyrics represent Act 1 (beginning at 1/4/2), the lower lyrics Act 2 (beginning at 163/1/4). Seen this way, the inner consistency becomes apparent. Using this underlay would, I think, make learning both numbers much easier for the chorus, and would avoid the extra work and confusion involved in learning an inconsistent and vocally awkward setting for the Finale.

Lyrics printed in italics represent my specific changes from the Chappell score. The music also contains the corrections specified above for the altos at 1/4/2 and 163/3/1, and also contains an alto variant not previously mentioned, which I've taken from Marc Shepherd's vocal score (see This variant occurs in the same point in the music, at 3/1/1 and 164/2/2, and I agree with Marc that it is an improvement over what's in the Chappell score.

Page 2

After this point, continue as written in both numbers.

166/2/5: Sopranos sing high B, ad lib.


II/6/1: There should be a C-sharp grace-note before the sixth beat (also at II/6/3).

III/1/3: Second chord, should be C-sharp in left hand (L.H.) (compare 75/5/2)

VI/1/7: In the recording, the third note is played as an F-sharp, not an A as printed, or as in the song. Also in the next measure, and at VI/3/1-2.

VI/4/2: Should be the same as VI/3/5. The first quarter-note B is incorrect; the "ding-dong" melody begins with the E.

12/4/3: Questionable voice-leading in piano part. E's in L.H. should probably be an octave higher.

14/3/3: The last two chords in this bar are played as quarter-notes in the recording.

21/3/1: The downbeat in the L.H. should be C, not A-flat.

26/1/4: The third eighth-note in the L.H. is omitted in the recording, so that the second beat is completely silent. The same applies to 28/2/1 and 30/2/7.

31/4/2: Questionable chord on the first eighth-note of the second beat. It could be right, but seems very un-Sullivanian. The recording omits the unusual D-flat; indeed I believe the only pitch that is sounded is B-flat. (Perhaps this is the original Lost Chord!)

33/3/3: The third eighth-note in the piano part is omitted in the recording, for a silent second beat.

43/2/1: The forte F's in the L.H. should come squarely on the second beat, not on the last eighth-note of the bar. The vocal parts on "Spades" should be notated as quarter-notes, not tied over to the second beat, since holding it over would result in a dissonance with the F's in the orchestra. Of course, this is only a problem in theory, as a breath is necessary at that point in any case. The same situation applies at 47/2/6.

53/4/4: The penultimate note in the R.H. should be C-sharp, not D.

61/1/2: The last three notes in the L.H. omitted in recording.

82/4/2: The four 16th-notes following Julia's "Oh, Heav'n" and preceding the chorus's first "What's the matter" are (probably rightly) omitted in the recording. It makes more sense for the chorus to initiate the musical idea, and for the orchestra to echo it, rather than vice-versa.

84/1/3: The A's in the piano part should all be natural.

91/3/3: In the recording, the chord is restruck, rather than tied over.

94/3/4: In the recording, the last quarter-note in the piano part is, probably correctly, tied over to the first quarter-note in the next bar.

110/4/5: The harmony on the third beat should be A-flat Major, not C minor (change the G to A-flat).

118/4/2: The recording has an eighth-note pick-up to this bar, on the same two G's. All the G's in the following bar are in the same octave, not an octave higher as printed.

123/5/8: In the recording, the clarinet makes a separate attack on the half-note, rather than tying over from the eighth-note in the previous bar.

125/1/3: C-natural in R.H., not C-flat.

128/4/4: In the recording, the D is clearly natural rather than flat in this bar, as well as in 128/4/8. I believe there are no F-flats played in either of those two bars (that would make it altogether too "interesting!"), but that all four half-note chords in this phrase are the same as what is printed in 128/4/6 and 128/5/2. For all that, I don't see anything musically wrong with the way it is as printed; I merely make the observation.

130/4/2: Bass C on third beat in L.H. is missing; compare 130/1/2.

138/3/2: There should be an eighth-note pick-up to the next bar, on an F.

147/3/1: The harmonies on the fourth beat of this bar and on the first beat of the next are incorrect. They should match those which appeared in the Herald's song. Ergo: F 6/4 --> F dim. over C (rather than C7 --> F 6/4)

152/6/6: The top note of the second chord should be C, not E. Sullivan isn't always as predictable as you might think!

159/3/6: The chord should be E minor. Visually it's hard to tell (in my copy) if the G is natural or sharp.

163/1/1: Although the eighth-rest on the downbeat is correct, the measure does not actually begin silently, but with a loud sustained B in octaves (one octave higher than the printed L.H. notes).

166/2/2: The rhythm of the dotted-quarter plus two 16th notes, as printed in the left hand, first two beats, is repeated in beats three and four in the recording, in place of the two quarter notes.


6/4/8: The G-natural should properly be spelled as an F-double-sharp here.

15/1/4: Third eighth-note in R.H. should probably still include the G-flat, sounded together with the G-natural. Same thing at 17/4/4.

16/3/4: A-natural in L.H. should be spelled B-double-flat

73/4/1: Second R.H. chord should have a B-sharp instead of a C-natural (as in the next bar).

74/1/4: "Rudolph" is misspelled as "Rudolf" here and elsewhere.

86/3/4: Last note in the measure should be spelled B-sharp, in which case, remove the courtesy sharp sign from the following C-sharp, and add a courtesy natural to the B (I warned you this was ultra-pedantical).

121/4/5: Last R.H. chord is missing a D.


13/2/1 (Sausage-Roll Song): The sudden upward swerve in Ludwig's line and the unexpected shift of harmony strike me as a fine musical illustration of intense nausea.

24/3/1: Pardon my lively imagination here, but it seems to me that Sullivan has introduced a clever musical reference to dramatize Ernest's line "What means this agitato?" The bombastic chords leading up to the line are extremely reminiscent of those which lead up to the first piano entrance in Mendelssohn's G minor piano concerto. If you think that's implausible, try this one: The melody of Ernest's "agitato" line is identical to the main theme of Grieg's piano concerto!

63/3/2: Sullivan's orchestration here provided me with a laugh-out-loud moment in the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society production in 1999. When Rudolph sings of "a headache down HERE," the rumbling in the orchestra (probably bassoons are involved on some level) produced an extremely flatulent effect!

96/1/4: A less likely musical reference: Ludwig's "The necessary dresses" sounds to me very like part of Faust's line in Act 1 of Gounod's opera: "A moi les plaisirs, les jeunes maitresses!" A similar melody, and it even rhymes with the French (sort of).

111/1/6: This one is more likely to have been deliberate, though not for any apparent dramatic reasons: the first six or so notes of Lisa's "Be sure you never let him sit up late" are almost a direct quote of a line from "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" from Saint-Saens's "Samson et Dalila." The Faust connection is not so obvious, but this one leaped right out at me at the Seattle performance. I believe I am not alone in thinking this, as the program notes for that production mentioned musical resemblances to various composers, including Johann Strauss ("Pretty Lisa, fair and tasty"), Offenbach (the Dance and Roulette number in the Monte Carlo scene), "and even Saint-Saens" (a direct quote from the program notes).

111/3/4: I just have to mention this one: I was the only one who laughed at Ludwig's line "I want a deal of nursing" at the performance I saw in Seattle. Am I the only one who fancied I saw the actor playing Ludwig looking down significantly at Lisa's breasts as he sang this line? I'm afraid I will always have a new image in my mind now whenever I hear it!

124/2/8: I have a purely personal antipathy to the G-natural which Julia sings in this bar. The underlying harmony is D7, which instead of resolving normally to G Major, resolves instead to G-flat major for "All is Darksome." There is nothing wrong with that; it's a standard musical device known as the "German sixth," wherein the dominant chord functions as a transitional chord to the key one half-step below the current one. A famous example of the German sixth appears, appropriately enough, in the German Requiem (that's by Brahms, not Edward German), in the breathtakingly beautiful passage where we hear "Selig sind" in G-flat major, immediately followed by a repetition of the phrase, but descending unexpectedly and magically to F Major, via the German sixth chord.

Back to my problem, which I should emphasize is ONLY mine, and need not unduly concern anyone else. In normal musical practice as laid out in the textbooks (to the study of which volumes I've devoted so many years of my life), the music for a line such as "faded into air" would lead suggestively into the new key by means of leading tones which belong to the new key rather than the old. In this case, a more usual and "correct" note would be a G-sharp rather than a G, and the aria would then be written in F-sharp Major rather than in G-flat.

Of course, great composers are above following textbook rules, and I have no right to complain about it. However, strange fancies do crowd upon my poor mad brain, and I sometimes wonder if Sullivan might have been anticipating my objection, and planning a grand joke just for me. Julia, after all, is an English woman in a German-speaking world. Doesn't it stand to reason that she wouldn't know the correct way to treat a German sixth chord?

148/1/3: Another Grieg reference: the Princess of Monte Carlo's music in "We're rigged out in magnificent array" strongly recalls Solvejg's Song from Peer Gynt, particularly here with the A-Major melisma, and the extended melisma at the end.

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