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New Shakespeare Songbook: Slovenia

Sonnet 130 performed by Trio Rêverie

On the 400 anniversary of his death, the BBC and Austrian broadcaster ORF, with the support of the European Broadcasting Union, have decided to commission a New Shakespeare Songbook, offering today’s composers and musicians across Europe, the chance to respond afresh to these timeless texts.

New Shakespeare Songbook: Slovenia

Ne, ona nima žametnih oči (Shakespeare's Sonnet 130) - performed by Trio Rêverie

Abour Trio Rêverie

Trio Rêverie (Tanja Činč, piano; Mojca Jerman, violin; and Katarina Leskovar, cello) – 1st prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Paris

Trio Reverie, a successful Slovenian chamber ensemble has recently performed at the final concert of winners of the Grand Prize Virtuoso competition at the Bastille Opera House in Paris. Trio Reverie consists of the pianist Tanja Činč, violinist Mojca Jerman, both postgraduate students of the Music Academy in Ljubljana, and cellist Katarina Leskovar, who is studying at the University of Arts in Graz.

Sonnet 130 - My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

About the New Shakespeare Songbook

Peter Maniura - BBC Shakespeare Lives:

"If music be the food of love, play on..."

Shakespeare is a great songwriter; songs permeate the tragedies, comedies and histories and have provided a source of inspiration for composers, lyricists and performers for four centuries.

On the 400 anniversary of his death, the BBC and Austrian broadcaster ORF, with the support of the European Broadcasting Union, have decided to commission a New Shakespeare Songbook, offering today’s composers and musicians across Europe, the chance to respond afresh to these timeless texts.

But this isn’t just music to be heard, it’s meant to be seen as well. Composers and performers worked with film-makers and directors to produce new songs which were also conceived as films.

The teams were free to use any Shakespeare text from his plays and sonnets and to set them in English, or in their native tongue. There was no restriction in terms of musical genre. The British songs were co-commissioned by BBC Shakespeare Lives and BBC Radio 3.

We hope you enjoy the imaginative, diverse and poetic results – welcome to the New Shakespeare Songbook!

Director's note

Since Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is recognised for its romantic theme, which stands out by refraining from idealising the subject while reflecting the preciousness and profoundness of Shakespeare’s language, we decided to stress the discrepancy of idealising a female subject today, which is completely out of touch with real, live women.

- Barbara Zemljič

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