Sunday, April 24th, 2016, 4:00 PM
THE BALTIMORE CONSORT
The Food of Love—Songs, Dances and Fancies for Shakespeare
Pre-concert talk at 3:15 PM
First Christian Church,
1601 Sunset Blvd., 77005
Perennial Houston audience favorite, The Baltimore Consort offers a fascinating program of sixteenth century English music commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 1616. Courtly and popular songs and dances of the day are interspersed with the music referenced in Shakespeare’s plays, performed by vocalists, plucked strings, viola da gamba and Renaissance wind instruments.
Shakespeare’s plays contain hundreds of musical references, including incidental music such as dances and fantasies (fancies), as well as songs written by the playwright and other authors of his time.
The program draws from 10 Shakespeare plays, including “The Tempest,” “As You Like It,” “Twelfth Night,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Winter’s Tale,” “Hamlet,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Othello,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Henry IV, Part II.”
Among the highlights are famous Shakespeare songs like “Where The Bee Sucks,” sung by Ariel in “The Tempest” and based on a melody written by Robert Johnson, who wrote a number tunes for which the Bard provided the lyrics. There are also tangentially related songs such as “The Carman’s Whistle,” which is mentioned by Falstaff in “Henry IV, Part II” but never sung in any of the plays.
Other highlights include well-known folk songs like “Greensleeves” and lesser-known pieces such as the broadside ballad “Complain My Lute.” Dances range from lively jigs and galliards to statelyalmans, several of them by John Dowland.