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The Galatea
Title : The Galatea The Galatea View More Images
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Creator : Ellard, Frederick
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Publisher : G.H. Egremont Gee
Date of creation : 1867
Additional Creator : Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Alfred, Duke of, 1844-1900
Format : Sheet music
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Frederick Ellard was born in Dublin, and probably arrived in Australia in 1832 with his uncle William and father Francis, who established a family music publishing and instrument selling business in Sydney. He was a teacher of the cello and piano and, in later years, a singing tutor. Ellard died in Sydney in 1867.

Bruce Stewart the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Librarian, has arranged "The Galatea" for string quartet. Frederick Ellard wrote "The Galatea" in the form of a polka, a style that attained great popularity in the second half of the 19th century. It is a descriptive piece - in the score the opening is titled "Weighing Anchor", the next section is "Under Way" which in turn is followed by "Full Speed". In the music can be heard what might be imagined to be rough seas and there is one section that seems to imply a moment of sea sickness! In the score words are included for a chorus if one be available. No author of the lyrics is mentioned so it is possible that the words are Ellard's own:

Welcome Prince, with joy we greet thee,

Welcome to our sunny land.

Loyal souls haste forth to meet thee,

Raised is ev'ry loyal hand.

God save our gracious Queen,

Long may she o'er us reign,

God save the Queen.

English huzzas ring around thee,

English hopes our bosoms fill,

Tho' Australia's sons surround thee,

Hearts and voice are British still.

Bruce Stewart suggests in the middle section of the piece Ellard cleverly inserts a musical quote from "God Save the Queen" - quite appropriate given that the captain of the Galatea was Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and son of Queen Victoria. The piece finishes with a return of the material used at the beginning as the ship arrives at port.

The surviving copy of the music in the State Library is an arrangement for piano. There is no surviving manuscript so it is unknown for what instrumental forces the piece was originally scored. Given the necessary grandeur of the royal visit it would be quite possible that the piece may have been performed by a string quartet or small orchestra. It has been arranged in the form you will hear tonight for string quartet by Bruce Stewart.

Early locally composed music also reflected social events, such as the comings and goings of early governors and their spouses and the visits of royalty.
This piece was written in commemoration of the inaugural royal visit to Australia in 1867 by HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. The tour included visits to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, where he was shot in an assassination attempt, and Brisbane.
The Galatea was the name of the royal yacht

Related names :


Coverage year : 1867
Period : 1852-1883
Further reading :

From Colonel Light into the footlights : the performing arts in South Australia from 1836 to the present, Norwood, S. Aust. : Pagel Books, 1988

Milner, John. The cruise of H.M.S. Galatea, Captain H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., in 1867-1868, London : W.H. Allen, 1869

McKinlay, Brian.The first Royal tour 1867-1868, Adelaide, [S. Aust.] : Rigby, 1970

Pike, Philip W. The royal presence in Australia : the official royal tours of Australia from 1867 to 1986, Adelaide : Royalty Publishing, 1986

Holmes, Robyn. The collector's book of sheet music covers, Canberra : National Library of Australia, 2001

Internet links :
Digital score available: Play score



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