Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Immortal Shakespeare was born in this house

Shakespeare's birthplace
On Thursday 21 April 2016 the Orchestra of the Swan, conductor David Curtis, will give the premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova's Immortal Shakespeare at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. Tabakova's work is a cantata for choir and orchestra, written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and performed in his final resting place. 

The piece takes its inspiration from Jaques' 'All the world's a stage', from As You Like It, and the reference to the seven ages of man structures the cantata, encompassing the idea of the lifespan of 'humanity'. Tabakova initially struggled with her choice of words, admitting that she initially tried to avoid as many famous lines as possible (there is an interview with her on the Orchestra of the Swan's blog). The work also takes its inspiration from a series of sketches that the artist Turner made on a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1833 (You can see the sketches on the Tate Gallery website). Tabakova explains that 'the sketches can be arranged to form a journey from birthplace to resting place and on one of these Turner inscribes "The Immortal Shakespeare was born in this house", which gave the title of this cantata'. The cantata's final movement sets the words from Shakespeare's monument in Holy Trinity Church.

The programme also includes RVW's Tallis Fantasia, The Lark Ascending (with Tamsin Waley Cohen), and Toward the Unknown Region.

Full information from the Orchestra of the Swan website.

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