Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Re: Music/Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0584.  Wednesday, 21 May 1997.

[1]     From:   Moray McConnachie <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 May 1997 15:10:23 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0572  Re: Music/Shakespeare

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 May 1997 16:30:50 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare and Music


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Moray McConnachie <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 20 May 1997 15:10:23 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 8.0572  Re: Music/Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0572  Re: Music/Shakespeare

I am slightly puzzled by Gabriel's desire for MIDI versions, since they
of necessity exclude the text! However, I am prepared to contribute one
if he really wants it, once I get back home among my music books. Anyone
with a web site will be welcome to put it on.

For those interested in John Dankworth's settings of Shakespeare songs,
they will be performed in London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC
Proms on Friday, 29th August, 1997 at 7.30 p.m. The singer will be Cleo
Laine (surprise!). Also performed will be some Gershwin and Ellington
stuff and a Dankworth premiere. Playing will be the Dankworth sextet,
the BBC Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra, all conducted by
Dankworth himself.

Tickets available through the Proms special booking system (buy a copy
of the Proms guide) from 21st May, public booking begins 16th June: fax
(+44 or 0) 171 225 0439: ordinary phone (+44 / 0) 171 589 8212, or by
post BBC Proms Ticket Shop, Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 2AP, UK.

Tickets for this concert are between 5.00 sterling and 20.00 sterling
(n.b. I do not recommend the Choir seats for a concert of this intimate
kind), or, standing, on the night, 3.00 per person.

Yours,
Moray McConnachie

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 20 May 1997 16:30:50 GMT
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare and Music

The Gooch and Thatcher catalogue is both enormously useful and intensely
irritating.  It records 'ghost' upon 'ghost' - incidental music to
performances whose existence is inferred from theatrical programmes, but
which no longer exist, at least in a recoverable form.  It's a catalgoue
which would benefit enormously from being mounted on a searchable
data-base; at the moment it is extremely time-consuming and tedious,
even with a whole volume of indexes, to make correlations across
different plays.

I myself think the interesting questions about music for Shakespeare
plays are not so much those  of 'authenticity', but rather  concern the
very different dynamics that different kinds of music, and different
assumptions about what music can be permitted to do, create in the
relationship between audience and performance.  It's remarkable to me
that in most performance histories of individual plays we hear a good
deal about design, and about actors and their performances, but very
little about the music.

I'm currently working on the history of music for The Tempest, and find
fascinating, for example, the fact that Benson's early twentieth
-century performances (and most of us know the photograph of him dressed
in shaggy fur and holding a fish) were prefaced by a full symphony
orchestra and chorus performing Haydn's 'The Tempest' (a work which has
nothing to do with Shakespeare's play), and that a good deal of the
music during the play was derived from a German musical adaptation of
the play, with the words translated back into English. What kind of
theatrical experience did this offer?

So too, it is, I think, interesting to observe that throughout the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though fashions in performance
changed markedly, that Arne's settings of Ariel's songs seem to have
held sway as the accepted and expected musical realisation of them.
What does it do to the representation of the character of Ariel that
these songs are turned into extended arias?

And so one could go on......

David Lindley
University of Leeds
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.