Austin Troubadours Present - "From Shakespeare, With Love"
The Austin Troubadours is an international group of instrumentalists and singers whose mission is to revive the beauty of musical masterpieces from Medieval and Renaissance Europe. It is founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas by the award-winning lutenist and early music specialist Slobodan Vujisic. Seven musicians in period costumes with more than 30 authentic period instruments, perform dances and songs of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. A high energy, non-conventional show sets the stage in this historically informed performance. Performers include members of The Austin Symphony and University of Texas Faculty, funded in part by the City of Austin Cultural Commission. Austin Troubadours is pleased to announce that they have been approved for inclusion on the new Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) Texas Touring Roster.
Shakespeare and Music
Shakespeare alludes to, or includes the text of, well over one hundred songs in his
works. Out of thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare, there are no less than thirty-two
which contain interesting references to music and musical matters in the text itself.
There are also over three hundred stage directions which are musical in their nature.
Shakespeares dramatic poetry, when it was realized on the Elizabethan stage, was
full of real, practical music. There were, indeed, for all plays, two kinds of music,
mimetic and nonmimetic.
Mimetic music is the music that contributes to the story sad settings for sad songs,
dances for the dance scenes, medicinal music to soothe the savage beast or cure the
mad King Lear, the magical music that Prospero summons to reconcile his enemies
and conclude his drama. Unfortunately, most of the songs lyrics survive without their
intended melodies. Only a few songs have survived in what seem to be the original
setting (It Was a Lover and His lass from Thomas Morleys First Booke of
Ayres, or Robert Johnsons Full Fathom Five). Roughly half of the songs are
ballads, popular songs of the time. Printed ballads were issued on broadsides single
sheets of paper printed on one side and in almost no case does the music appear on
the page. Instead, the title of the ballad is followed by to the tune of Greensleeves
or some such directive. The tunes and their titles were so well known that it was not
necessary to use precious space on the broadside to print the music.
Nonmimetic music in Shakespeares plays is the music that introduces the drama,
plays during intermissions and concludes the entertainment. Plays were framed by
music fanfares to quiet the audience, or to indicate that a significant formal event
was about to take place. In some theaters there would have been an overture.
What is more striking, and probably harder for us to imagine, is that plays of the
Renaissance stage always concluded with a Jig, a lively dance that was completely
unrelated to the plot of the play. Consider the effect of this: after the end of Hamlet,
King Lear, Macbeth, or Romeo and Juliet, after we have been overwhelmed by the
suffering and death of the heroes and heroines, the dead bodies pick themselves up,
dust themselves off and perform the Jig! Even the most violent tragedy concludes
with harmony and dissolves into music and dance.
Lets take this journey together,
Unity Church of the Hills (Ver)
9905 Anderson Mill Rd.
Austin, TX 78750
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