From the Library: Music for Shakespeare

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by Elrik Merlin on Monday, 9 August, 2010

John William Waterhouse’s painting of Miranda and The Tempest (1916)

Today’s programme features music written to accompany Shakespeare’s plays, in particular Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by such composers as Purcell, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Sullivan, Walton and, of course, Mendelssohn.

In addition we’ll hear some other pieces in a Shakespearian vein, such as settings of some of the Sonnets, and some contemporary quotations from theatre-goers. These latter, along with some Elizabethan incidental music for some of the plays, come from the wonderful albums released by Shakespeare’s Globe, the marvellous recreation of the Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank, where you can experience Shakespeare in as close to the original theatrical environment as is possible today. For more details on Shakespeare’s Globe, please visit their web site.

The musical genres represented today are quite extensive, from Early Music, through orchestral classical settings, to the relatively modern interpretations of The Third Ear Band’s music for Polanski’s Macbeth and Principal Edwards’ Magic Theatre. All this will make for a varied programme.

Then join us at 6pm Pacific for Mondays at Madhu’s: a programme of world music presented weekly by Carter Denja live from Madhu’s Café. This week it’s International Jazz – more details here.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in association with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen now at

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.


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