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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Re: Music/Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0594.  Sunday, 25 May 1997.

[1]     From:   Rod Osiowy <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 May 1997 08:52:04 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0591  Re: Music/Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Saturday, 24 May 1997 14:39:52 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Music for Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rod Osiowy <
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Date:           Friday, 23 May 1997 08:52:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 8.0591  Re: Music/Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0591  Re: Music/Shakespeare

I just read a review of "The Tempest" in a local paper where the critic
stated, "the work of Shakespeare is lyrical in itself and any insertion
of contemporary music with original or other dialogue is inappropriate.
It only serves to distract and songs are not a part of Shakespeare."

I saw "The Tempest" and believe that the dances in it require music, or
the audience would experience the distraction of dance without music.
Ariel's songs are written into the script, I believe, and are open to
musical interpretation within character.  The evening of this particular
performance experienced some technical glitches with wireless
microphones, but otherwise, the music was very befitting the time,
setting and performance.  I wonder where people get these ideas about
Shakespeare's plays?  Surely Shakespeare knew the power of music in live
performance...

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Saturday, 24 May 1997 14:39:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Music for Shakespeare

Since there are several members of this list who have vivid memories of
the music of their theatre-going youth, I thought I might ask just how
far back their memory might go.

There are credits, throughout Sir John Gielgud's season at the Queen's
Theatre, 1937-1938, for composer Herbert Menges.  So far as I know,
there are no recordings of his work, and I am curious if anyone can
describe the music he composed, whether for this or any other
productions on the West End at that time.  In particular, there were
productions of Richard II and Merchant of Venice, which generated some
controversy among the critics.  It would be of great interest to me, to
find out whether his music played a part in the response to Gielgud and
Motley's new approach to stagecraft, or whether his musical choices were
conventional and played to the more traditional expectations of a
commercial audience at the time.

Remarks can be sent directly to me, or can be shared with the rest of
our group, as you wish.

Many thanks in advance,

Andy White

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