Here was a most interesting programme, introduced in an engaging manner by conductor Rachel Hyde, who attempted to demonstrate the essential musical quality of Shakespeare’s language and the way in which music permeated Shakespeare’s work and Tudor society in general. For example, she said that someone had counted some 300 musical stage directions in the plays.
To her credit, Hyde kept away from the most common settings of the songs...
"Good God—behold completed this poor little Mass—is it indeed sacred music [la musique sacrée] that I have just written, or merely some damned music [la sacré musique]? You know well, I was born for comic opera. Little science, a little heart, that is all. So may you be blessed, and grant me Paradise!"
With these words Gioachino Rossini prefaced his Petite Messe Solennelle
, written in 1863, and called elsewhere by... read more