Guest blogger Jason Painter Price gives a glimpse of the musical entertainment for the 2012 Arts Weekend.
From Henry Purcell to Leonard Bernstein composers have been inspired by the ideas and writings of William Shakespeare. Trumpeter Jason Price and pianist John Orfe will perform a variety of music from the 1600′s all the way to a World Premiere of a new composition by Jason Price. Pieces by Purcell, Beethoven, Bernstein, Walton, Nyman and more will be performed tracing the ways music can tell stories.
I wanted to put together a program of different periods of music that would relate to the work that my colleague Christina Traister was doing on her production of “Much Ado About Nothing”. I ran through a number of ideas and dead ends and decided to scrap the plan in favor of a program of opera arias through history performed by trumpet and piano – a guilty pleasure of mine. I talked to John about these ideas knowing that he has an impressive and intimidating grasp of repertoire of the past five hundred years. In fact we often refer to John as the Human iPod for his ability to recall Classical and Popular melodies and play them by ear. We brainstormed about repertoire. We quickly moved from the limited trumpet and piano repertoire, wonderful as it is, and decided to be open to arrangements of whatever repertoire we wanted to play. We talked about the incidental music written for productions of Shakespeare and I found a great article in the San Francisco Classical Voice about operas using Shakespeare. I began to think of all the great music that referenced Shakespeare and how it continues in literal and abstract ways to inspire composers. Many composers have used Shakespeare’s plays for their operas, like Verdi and Rossini, and sonnets for art songs, choral settings and pop tunes.
Others have written pieces for incidental music and compositions that are creative reactions to Shakespeare. I’ve added links to a few of my favorites – can you think of any pieces you’d like to hear us adapt.
Let us know in the comment section and maybe you’ll hear your selection at our concert!
Henry Purcell – The Fairy Queen – an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipCpNvnkQQw
William Walton – Touch Her Soft Lips and Part
Sergei Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet
Michael Nyman – Prospero’s Books – an adaptation of The Tempest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnxtxPkAEMA