To listen simply press on the audio player below
(you can also download the file –
click on the three dots on the right):
Robert Johnson: Hark, Hark! The Lark
Frank Martin: Five Ariel Songs
1. Come unto these yellow sands
2. Full fathom five thy father lies
3. Before you can say “come and go”
4. You are three man of sin, whom Destiny
5. Where the bee sucks, there suck I
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Three Shakespeare Songs
1: Full fathom five
2: The Cloud-Capp’d Towers
3: Over Hill, Over Dale
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Hector Berlioz: La mort d’Ophélie
Johannes Brahms: Ophelia-Lieder, 3. St. Valentine’s Day
Richard Strauss: Ophelia-Lieder, 2. St. Valentine’s Day
Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).
4 thoughts on “… not fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils”
Very interesting – unexpectedly so! It’s interesting how songs such as these can be extracted from written plays to become ‘autonomous’ cultural items. Were these composers ‘cashing in’ on Shakespeare’s fame? The reverse also exists of course – I’m thinking of Julian Barnes’ novel not just based on Shostakovich but incorporating the identity of the composer. On a separate point, I wondered if something of Shakespeare’s use of language is lost by being sung – would it be more effective if delivered as sprechgesung?
A wonderful anthology, mostly new to me. I’d never heard the Frank Martin settings, nor the Brahms, for example. They are a tribute to Shakespeare’s universal appeal, I suppose. Many thanks, Chris.
Before listening, I wasn’t sure that these songs would be my cup of tea (or coffee as I don’t drink tea!) but I thoroughly enjoyed every one. How could anyone not with such beautiful voices.
Very enjoyable. Really enjoyed listening. Thank you Chris.