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The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts$
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Mark Thornton Burnett and Adrian Streete

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635238

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.001.0001

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Shakespeare and Classical Music

Shakespeare and Classical Music

Chapter:
(p.169) 9 Shakespeare and Classical Music
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts
Author(s):

Julie Sanders

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.003.0010

This chapter states that orchestral or symphonic music occupies a no less charged place in the history of Shakespearean transmission and reception. It alternates between figures as seemingly removed from each other as Henry Purcell and Hans Werner Henze in addressing, among other kinds of classical music, the sonata, film music and the symphonic poem and in exploring why particular plays are the recurring targets of musical treatment. Shakespeare's plays and the tripartite structure of the sonata form provide Henze with the backbone, the musical and literary vertebrae, of his rich artistic response. It is seen that music frequently offers motifs to signify or suggest particular characters. As the twenty-first century dawned, classical music had become a reliable shorthand signifier in the Shakespearean canon in its own right, testimony, were it needed, to the longevity and importance of the relationship between the two art-forms.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, classical music, Henry Purcell, Hans Werner Henze, sonata, film music, symphonic poem

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