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Jonathan Swain

Jonathan Swain explores how composers have taken Shakespearean themes for inspiration. With Chausson, Thomas Linley the younger, Nyman and Tchaikovsky, plus a work by Schuman.

Following this week's Building A Library choice of Elgar's Falstaff, Jonathan Swain sets off to look at the ways different composers have taken Shakespearean themes for inspiration. He focuses on the Tempest, with music from Chausson, Thomas Linley the Younger, Michael Nyman, and Tchaikovsky. The American season includes works by Edward MacDowell, Randall Thompson and William Schuman's 3rd Symphony.

2 hours, 57 minutes

Music Played

  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Beatus Vir (Psalm 111)

    Singer: Emma Kirkby. Singer: Rogers Covey‐Crump. Singer: David Thomas. Ensemble: The Taverner Choir, Consort & Players. Conductor: Andrew Parrott.
    • Selva Morale e Spirituale.
    • EMI.
    • 3.
  • Christopher Tarnow

    Intermezzo No. 1 (2014)

    • Tarnow: Theremin Sonatas.
    • Genuin.
    • 4.
  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Danse Macabre

    Performer: Alexander Gavrylyuk.
    • Brahms: Paganini Variations & Liszt: Various Piano Works.
    • Piano Classics.
    • 34.
  • Thomas Linley

    Music for The Tempest: Arise! Ye Spirits of the Storm

    Ensemble: The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra and Choir. Conductor: Paul Nicholson.
    • Linley: Music for The Tempest.
    • Hyperion.
    • 1.
  • Ernest Chausson

    Incidental music for La Tempête Op.18

    Singer: Raphaële Farman. Singer: Marie-Ange Todorovitch. Singer: Laurence Dale. Ensemble: Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Conductor: Jean‐Jacques Kantorow.
  • Michael Nyman

    Prospero's Books: Where the Bee Sucks

    Singer: Sarah Leonard. Ensemble: Michael Nyman Band.
    • Prospero's Books.
    • Decca.
    • 11.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Tempest Op.18

    Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra. Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • The Tempest.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 11.
  • Thomas Adès

    The Tempest: Act One: 'Five Fathoms Deep'

    Singer: Cyndia Sieden. Singer: Simon Keenlyside. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Thomas Adès.
    • Royal Opera House: The Tempest.
    • EMI.
  • Daniel Emmett


    Ensemble: Morton Gould and his Symphonic Band.
    • Brass and Percussion Works: Symphonic Band.
    • RCA.
    • 19.
  • Edward MacDowell

    To a Wild Rose

    Performer: Van Cliburn.
  • Randall Thompson


    Orchestra: Polyphony. Conductor: Stephen Layton.
    • Polyphony/Stephen Layton.
    • Hyperion.
    • 1.
  • William Schuman

    Symphony No. 3

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • DG.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Bleib' bei uns BWV 6 - (ii) aria 'Hochgelobter Gottes Sohn'

    Singer: Janet Baker. Ensemble: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • Solo Cantatas and Arias.
    • EMI.
    • 3.


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