Shakespeare and Music Notes

Violence much more startling and graphic than nudity

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Violence much more startling and graphic than nudity Not well-received when first released, but since has been widely acclaimed Polanski makes Macbeth – Birnam Forest comes to Dunsinane Soundtrack: Third Ear Band Psychedelic Folk / Progressive Rock Draws from Medieval music, non-Western folk (especially from Middle East and India), chant Atmospheric sound Improvisational Composed in real time Free Improvisation vs. Guided Improvisation Guided Improvisation Analogy Soundtrack: Third Ear Band Paul Minns — oboe / recorder Glen Sweeney — drums Paul Buckmaster — cello / bass guitar Simon House — violin and VCS3 Denim Bridges — guitars Create drone -like sounds to approximate Medieval instruments like the hurdy-gurdy and reed sounds to approximate the shawm Third Ear Band live Selected Scenes from Polanski’s Macbeth
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“None of Woman Born” Prophecy Macduff Family Murders Inspired by S.S. men searching the Polanski house in the Polish ghetto Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking Scene Opera: Verdi’s Macbeth Shakespeare Revival: “Bardolatry” Exploded in the Romantic Era Shakespeare presented as Greatest writer who ever lived Supreme intellect Great psychologist Most faithful portrayer of the human condition and experience Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Famous Italian opera composer Composed not for musical elite, but for mass public whose main entertainment was opera Sought subjects who were “original, interesting … and passionate; passions above all!” Operas move quickly and involve extremes of hatred, love, jealousy, and fear Expressive vocal melody Chorus plays important role Verdi’s Macbeth “This tragedy is one of the greatest creations of man! If we can’t do something great with it, let us at least try to do something out of the ordinary.” Verdi and Shakespeare Verdi idolized Shakespeare “I have had him in my hands from my earliest youth, and I read and reread him continually.”
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Enthralled by grand scope of Shakespeare’s stories, profound psychological insight, and fluid juxtaposition of light/dark, high/low Strove to emulate his hero’s epic achievements Several operas on Shakespearean subjects: Macbeth (1847) Otello (1887) Falstaff (1893) Verdi and Shakespeare Before Verdi, most operas based on Shakespeare changed the Bard’s stories to conform to operatic tastes and conventions Verdi’s approach radically different Far from squeezing Shakespeare into an operatic template, he transformed opera to do justice to Shakespeare In Macbeth , pushes the boundaries of Italian opera to begin developing his unique dramatic voice Verdi’s Macbeth Unusual for its time No love story No subplots No lead tenor role Never reached the level of popularity of many of Verdi’s other operas Verdi’s Macbeth Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
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Christopher Reinemann
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