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Music of Shakespeare

Ensemble Alba Musica Kyo

Thomas Morley, William Byrd, Anonymous, Anonymous, Francis Cutting, Robert Jones, John Wilson, Giles Farnaby, Francis Cutting, Robert Johnson

SKU: 11497

Year of release: 1997

1. O Mistress Mine Thomas Morley 02:51
2. O Mistress Mine (Instrumental) William Byrd 03:12
3. It Was A Lover And His Lass Thomas Morley 03:49
4. Willow Song Anonymous 04:39
5. Walshingham Anonymous, Francis Cutting 03:37
6. Walshingham (Instrumental) William Byrd 05:02
7. Farewell, Dear Love Robert Jones 04:18
8. Take, O Take Those Lips Away John Wilson 02:48
9. Robin Anonymous 02:32
10. Bony Sweet Robin Giles Farnaby 04:19
11. Greensleeves Anonymous 02:57
12. Greensleeves (Lute Solo) Francis Cutting 02:43
13. Greensleeves To A Ground (Instrumental) Anonymous 01:26
14. Greensleeves To A Ground (Instrumental) Anonymous 03:51
15. Hark, Hark, The Lark Robert Johnson 01:58
16. Full Fathom Five Robert Johnson 03:03
17. Where The Bee Sucks Robert Johnson 03:49
Total time: 57:02

About this album

Music of Shakespeare Elizabethan music circa 1600 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was not a composer: we do not know of a single piece of music composed by him. But we do know how much Shakespeare loved music from this quotation: How sweet sour music is, When time is broke, and no proportion kept! So is it in the music of men’s lives. Not only did he love music and frequently use it in his dramatic works, many passages from his works have been admired and set by composers throughout history, right up to the present day. In his plays Shakespeare used old folk songs (e.g. ‘Greensleeves’), popular songs (the ‘Willow Song’) and parodies of the day (‘Farewell Dear Love’, originally a dance called ‘Malsims’) and new settings of these songs by his contemporaries. The England of Shakespeare’s time boasted not only a flourishing literary scene but also a glorious musical world, with such great composers as William Byrd (1543-1623), Thomas Morley (1557-1603), John Dowland (1563-1626) and Robert Johnson (1582?-1633). We do not know whether these composers worked with Shakespeare, but we find Dowland’s name in ‘The Passionate Pilgrim’: If music and sweet poetry agree, […] Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch Upon the lute doth ravish human sense; […] It is interesting to note that, despite being the most celebrated lutenist of his age, Dowland did not apparently have much contact with Shakespeare, as he spent most of his musical life on the Continent, mainly at the court of Christian IV in Denmark. This is why we have not included any works by Dowland here. There is no doubt, however, that there was some kind of relationship between Shakespeare and the musicians of his day, especially Morley and Johnson.

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(...) a deligtfull selection (...) (...) this Japanese ensemble offers many excellent works that are less often heard. (...)


Technical Specifications

Digital To Analog ConverterSony
Mastering EquimentSony digital Editor 3000
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Mixing ConsoleRens Heijnis Custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Recording FormatPCM 44.1
Analog To Digital ConverterdCS900
Recording DateJune 1997
Recording LocationResnswoude - The Netherlands
EditingJared Sacks
Recording Engineerjared Sacks
ProducerJared Sacks