Anna Thunström, Emma Kirkby – sopranos
Lindsay Richardson – alto
Michael Solomon Williams – tenor
Adrian Horsewood – bass
Sam Brown – lute
Nathaniel Mander – virginals (King Charles II’s Virginals)
An evening of songs, duets, four-part ayres and instrumental fancies on lute and virginals, in honour of Shakespeare’s anniversary.
Scattered through Shakespeare’s plays are songs of such artful directness that composers ever since have made their own settings of his lyrics. This programme includes two titles from The Tempest, set by Robert Johnson, arguably the only versions that might have been heard on Shakespeare’s stage along with near-contemporary settings by Morley and a version of Orpheus with his lute by Maurice Greene.
Using forces nearly equivalent to those at Shakespeare’s disposal, this programme gives an idea of the marvellous range of works from this period. Dowland and Danyel are included, as well as a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the birth in the Veneto of Angelo Notari, whose volume The First New Music helped to establish Italian singing styles in Europe.