Saturday 3 December 2016

Shakespeare's sonnets set to music

Published 05/02/2012 | 09:23

Eliza Carthy performs on a new album which sets Shakespeare's sonnets to music
Eliza Carthy performs on a new album which sets Shakespeare's sonnets to music

An album of Shakespeare's sonnets set to music and played on Elizabethan instruments will be released on the bard's birthday this year.

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Singers including folk star Eliza Carthy are backed by musicians playing replica instruments including lutes, a type of 16-string cello called a lirone and a massive stringed instrument called a theorbo.

Among them is drummer Geoff Dugmore, who dropped his rock and roll roots, having played with Rod Stewart and Tina Turner, to play renaissance drums on the album that took six months to record.

The arrangements on the album, which was the idea of renaissance music expert Robert Hollingworth, have not changed any of Shakespeare's words but have repeated some lines and moved others.

Shakespeare's Sonnets, made up of 154 poems, were first published in 1609 a few years before his death.

Scholars have long puzzled over the identities of two characters - the fair youth and the dark lady - that are mentioned in the poems and Mr W H who the sonnets are dedicated to.

The album, called The Sonnets, will be released on April 23.

Press Association

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