City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

If Music Be the Food of Love: Shakespeare at the Movies

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If Music Be the Food of Love: Shakespeare at the Movies Review

by William Ruhlmann

Shakespeare's plays have proven to be a perennial source for movie makers, and the bard himself has even been the subject of the Academy Award-winning Shakespeare in Love, so it makes sense for Silva Screen Records, in its ongoing series of re-recordings of film music by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus, to hit upon the idea of an album consisting of excerpts from the scores of various Shakespeare films. Beginning and ending with Shaun Davey's music for the 1998 production of Twelfth Night, the double-CD presents what amounts to a mini-history of film scores, interspersed with famous Shakespearean monologues by noted Shakespearean actors, none of them (except for the album-closing singing of "The wind and the rain" by Ben Kingsley) actually taken from film soundtracks. Although Kenneth Branagh's versions of some of Shakespeare's great plays from the 1980s and after make an interesting contrast with Laurence Olivier's from the 1940s and after, the makers of this album probably were wise to put a lot of space between William Walton's music for Olivier's Henry V and Patrick Doyle's music for Branagh's version. In keeping with the two directors' very different interpretations, Walton echoes the heroic, World War II-era Henry V of Olivier, while Doyle supports the far more problematic post-Falklands War Henry V of Branagh. Elsewhere, it is interesting how Shakespeare provides a forum for such various composers as Dimitri Shostakovich (a 1964 Hamlet produced in the U.S.S.R.), Miklós Rózsa (a 1953 Julius Caesar from Hollywood), and Nino Rota (both a 1967 The Taming of the Shrew and the massively popular 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet). The differences in the music often demonstrate that, though the texts may be the same, the filmmakers often have taken wildly different approaches to Shakespeare's works.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Twelfth Night, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus / Ben Kingsley 00:54 Amazon
Henry V, choral suite (arr. by M.Sargent) and orchestral suite (arr. by C.Matthieson)
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman / Crouch End Festival Chorus 06:27 Amazon
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 02:57 Amazon
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus / Ioan Gruffudd 01:56 Amazon
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 05:36 Amazon
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 01:54 Amazon
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman / Crouch End Festival Chorus 02:13 Amazon
Hamlet, film score, Op. 116 (unrelated to incidental music)
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 03:06 Amazon
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 02:52 Amazon
Hamlet, film score
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus / Derek Jacobi 02:57 Amazon
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Kenneth Alwyn 05:14 Amazon
Much Ado About Nothing, film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Kenneth Alwyn 03:46 Amazon
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman / Crouch End Festival Chorus 05:58 Amazon
Antony and Cleopatra, film score
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Jenny Agutter / Crouch End Festival Chorus / Bruce McGregor 01:29 Amazon
15 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman / Crouch End Festival Chorus / Nic Raine 06:41 Amazon
Julius Caesar, film score (1970)
16 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus 02:57 Amazon
17 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 04:46 Amazon
Julius Caesar, film score
18 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Mark Anthony / Crouch End Festival Chorus / Derek Jacobi 02:36 Amazon
19 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 06:25 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Taming of the Shrew, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Jenny Agutter / Crouch End Festival Chorus / Derek Jacobi 01:04 Amazon
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 04:20 Amazon
Richard III, film score
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus / Derek Jacobi 02:53 Amazon
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 06:47 Amazon
Romeo + Juliet, film score
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 05:37 Amazon
Romeo and Juliet, film score
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Jenny Agutter / Crouch End Festival Chorus / Ioan Gruffudd 02:42 Amazon
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Kenneth Alwyn 07:41 Amazon
Love's Labour's Lost, film score
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 05:30 Amazon
Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Jenny Agutter / Crouch End Festival Chorus 00:42 Amazon
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 03:20 Amazon
Shakespeare In Love, film score
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 07:18 Amazon
Henry V (1989), film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman 04:28 Amazon
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus 05:08 Amazon
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Ioan Gruffudd / Nic Raine 02:14 Amazon
15 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Paul Bateman / Crouch End Festival Chorus 03:44 Amazon
Twelfth Night, film score
16 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Crouch End Festival Chorus / Derek Jacobi 01:08 Amazon
17 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feat: Ben Kingsley / Fiachra Trench 05:41 Amazon
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