The Play’s The Thing — Music for Shakespeare

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Thursday, 19 June, 2008

Today’s programme in our special Midsummer Night’s Dream week features a wide range of music, but around one common theme: the plays of William Shakespeare were the inspiration. The works you’ll hear today range from the Baroque – with Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (the first musical setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and The Tempest – to the modern: Gryphon’s Midnight Mushrumps, also composed for The Tempest but this time by Richard Harvey for Peter Hall’s 1973 National Theatre Company production; and the Third Ear Band’s eerie compositions for Polanski’s film version of Macbeth.

In between, we’ll be hearing Tchaikovsky’s Fantasias After Shakespeare, Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet, Beecham’s historic postwar recording of A Village Romeo & Juliet by Frederick Delius, and a great deal more including, of course, Mendelssohn’s Overture and incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The music will be interspersed by selected readings from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Radio Riel Players, made up of Radio Riel’s listeners and staff. Then at 3pm SLT we will be featuring a recording of the play in its entirety with an all-star British cast.

You can listen to this, and all this week’s special programming on Radio Riel’s Main Stream: http://music.radioriel.org.

SL Shakespeare Summer is a special presentation of Radio Riel, Riel Events and the Caledon Library and includes three series of events in June, July and August, each based around one of Shakespeare’s plays, with an associated Library exhibition, daily special programming and culminating in a grand ball. This month the theme is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Click here for full details of the events programme for this week.

• Many of today’s musical items have complex metadata and will not display their titles correctly or in full in the “Now Playing” widget at the top of the page: you may even erroneously see “stream unavailable”. To see what is playing, please listen to the stream in a regular media player with metadata display such as iTunes or WinAmp.

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