The Te Deum Laudamus is a single movement Choral work and was Sullivan’s last completed composition. In one movement, the composer moves through all the component parts of the mass, drawing them together seamlessly and expressing Sullivan’s own deeply felt faith.
Composer Arthur Sullivan is known the world over for his operatic collaborations with W S Gilbert, including H M S Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, among many others. But Sullivan was also a composer of many other works , among them operas, Orchestral works, ballets, and hymns and church pieces.
Among his church works, Sullivan is best known for his hymn Onward, Christian Soldiers, and the theme of that hymn is incorporated in this Te Deum. Sullivan wrote the work on request for a Thanksgiving Service held in St Paul’s Cathedral at the close of the Boer War in South Africa. It received its first performance in 1902 in the presence of King Edward VII and other members of the royal family. That the song of thanksgiving was composed nearly two years before the end of the war perhaps demonstrated Sullivan’s patriotism.