February 12, 2013, 7:00 pm

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William Shakespeare (1564-1616) understood the value of rhythm, meter, and harmonies in music as well as playwriting and poetry. The Bard of Avon inspired profound music by Felix Mendelssohn and Giuseppe Verdi programmed by Bill in this week’s musical adaptations of Shakespeare from the stage to the screen, including Dvorak and Verdi’s versions of Othello as well as English composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton’s Henry V, Henry Purcell’s Fairy Queen, and completing the week with versions of Romeo and Juliet by Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev.


Episode 1

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Overture & excerpts
Berlin Philharmonic/Abbado
Branagh, narrator
Sony 62826
11:40, 14:43, 22:20

Episode 2

Dvorák: Othello (excerpt)
Czech Philharmonic/Pesek
Virgin 61853

Verdi: Othello (excerpts)
National Philharmonic/Levine
Domingo, tenor
RCA 39501
6:32, 9:44, 4:46, 5:48

Verdi: Falstaff (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Bernstein
D. Fischer-Dieskau, ten.
Sony 64070
4:07, 1:18, :25

Episode 3

Walton: Henry V  (film suite)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Walton
Olivier, narrator
EMI 65007
3:36, 13:18

Purcell: The Fairy Queen (excerpt)

Handel: Julius Caesar
“E Pur Cosi… Piangero” 

London Philharmonic/Welser-Most
Amanda Roocroft, soprano
EMI 555090

Vaughan Williams: “Full Fathom Five”, “The Cloud-Capped Towers,” and “Over Hill, Over Dale”
Cambridge Singers/Rutter
Collegium 505
3:16, 2:22, :58

Finzi: Let us Garlands Bring
“Who is Sylvia?”, “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun,” and “It was a Lover and his Lass”

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Handley
M. George, baritone
Conifer 51285
1:34, 5:02, 2:34

Beach: “O Mistress Mine,” “Take, O Take Those Lips Away”
Emma Kirkby, soprano; James Lisney, piano
BIS 1245
2:27, 1:32

Episode 4

Gounod: Romeo and Juliet
Queen Mab scene
Toulouse Capitole Orchestra/Plasson
EMI 40700

Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)
Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique & Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner;
Fouchcourt, tenor
Phil 454454
1:29, 7:17, 14:53

Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
NY Philharmonic/Bernstein
Sony 63085

Episode 5

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture
New York Philharmonic/Bernstein
DG 429234

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)
Leningrad Kirov Orchestra/Gergiev
Phil 432819
19:35, 5:33, 3:04