The Novello Shakespeare Choral Collection was inspired by the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard which will be commemorated all over the world in 2016 and by ‘Singing Shakespeare’, a large-scale celebration of the sung texts of Shakespeare that has been sponsored by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and gives choirs or all kinds the chance to promote their own performances on the ‘Singing Shakespeare’ website – www.singingshakespeare.com
Music played an enormous role in the works of Shakespeare and has since gone on to influence and inspire composers to create operas, ballets, film/Broadway musicals, film scores, popular songs, chamber and instrumental music, orchestral works of all kinds, as well as of course vocal and choral settings of timeless words, many of which have become an iconic part of our culture.
The Novello Shakespeare Choral Collection is an exciting and eclectic anthology of 26 short choral works that set some of Shakespeare’s most immortal lines including ‘It was a lover and his lass’ ; ‘Who is Silvia ?’ ; ‘Full fathom five’ and ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’.
There are pieces suitable for choirs of all abilities, carefully chosen by the editor David Wordsworth, to be as enjoyable to sing as they are to hear. Pieces that have stood the test of time, such as Thomas Arne’s ‘Blow, blow, thou winter wind’ ; charming discoveries from the 1800’s such as Henry Leslie’s ‘How sweet the moonlight sleep’ and brand new pieces commissioned especially for the book by John Joubert, Richard Sisson and Pawel Lukaszewski. Moe recent accessible 20th/21st century settings include delightful works by E J Morean and Lennox Berkeley, as well as Gary Carpenter’s atmospheric ‘Lo, here, the gentle lark’ and John Tavener’s mystical settings of ‘Fear no more’ and ‘Look into thy glass’. Works published for the first time include John Gardner’s witty and sparkling ‘Four Rounds to Shakespeare Texts’ and the jazz-inspired ‘A Summer Sonnet’ by the American composer Kevin Olsen. There is even a wistful setting of ‘Fear no more…’ by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, in an arrangement made especially for the book.
Truly music to beguile and charm audiences and choirs alike – if music be the food of love, sing on!
Find The Novello Shakespeare Choral Collection can be found here:
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