Last year, back in May 2018, I went to a Shakespeare-themed concert by the Alumni Orchestra of Leuven University. It all started with:
Music oft hath such a charmWilliam Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
Two of my cousins actually played in the orchestra, which is why I was there. But I was also intrigued since I did study English literature and have the full collected works of the Bard on my bookshelves at home. It was an amazing Sunday afternoon concert with music, tellings and singing.
The programme consisted of works that were composed inspired by Shakespeare’s work:
- March for a Shakespeare festival (Bedrich Smetana)
- Portraits of The England of Elizabeth: Poet (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
- One Hand, one Heart from West Side Story (Leonard Bernstein)
- Othello concertouverture (Antonin Dvorak)
- Ouverture Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Otto Nicolai)
- Viel lärmen um Nichts (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
- Suite from Henry V (William Walton)
The symphonic orchestra was conducted by Hans Casteleyn and joined by singer Nel Vanhee and Yves Van Handenhove. And the stories in between were told by Belgian actor Tom Van Bauwel.
What a truly original way to keep these masterworks alive! And love the combination of my two favourite things: books and music.