Malvern WR14 3DR
‘The Touches of Sweet Harmony’ – The Musical World of William Shakespeare
In this enticing programme, devised to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, Stile Antico presents a beguiling selection of music connected with the life and work of England’s greatest writer.
Thomas Morley: It was a lover and his lass
William Byrd: O Lord, make thy servant
John Dowland: Say, Love, if ever thou did’st find
John Wilbye: What needeth all this travail – Fools! Can you not see?
Thomas Weelkes: Thule – The Andalusian Merchant
Huw Watkins: The Phoenix and the Turtle
William Byrd: Tristitia et anxietas
Robert Johnson: Full fathom five
Thomas Tomkins: Be strong and of a good courage
Thomas Weelkes: O Lord Grant the King a Long Life
Thomas Weelkes: When David Heard
Robert Ramsey: Sleep, Fleshly Birth
Nico Muhly: Gentle Sleep
Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan
Orlando Gibbons: What is Our Life?
Shakespeare’s plays and poetry brim with references to music. Stile Antico explores rare surviving settings of his words by his contemporaries Thomas Morley and Robert Johnson, alongside music connected to the great events of his lifetime. Shakespeare’s chief patron was the Protestant James I, for whom Tomkins and Weelkes wrote extravagant coronation anthems. However, Shakespeare also had intriguing links with recusant Catholicism, whose supreme musical spokesman was William Byrd. Completing this fascinating picture are brand new settings of Shakespeare’s poetry by Nico Muhly and Huw Watkins, composed especially for Stile Antico.
Stile Antico, which performs without conductor, is a British vocal ensemble now established as one of the most original and exciting new voices in its field and has an extensive and award-winning discography on the Harmonia Mundi label.
Stile Antico April 2014 – credit Eric Richmond