He keeps coming back to these unusual Debussy-like harmonies that begin the piece. They're always there in some way. There are elements of parody and humour in the piece, as well as passages representing confusion, jealousy, anger and turmoil. These cues have the edges, angles that I go looking for in rock-and-roll, but the way they are achieved is utterly different.
I think there are also moments of tenderness and beauty, where the emotions of the lovers come through. Having now written over songs, this is my first full orchestral composition. Naturally, I hope it appeals to all my favourite parts of the human being. It is for the listener to decide what they take away from it. Below him, the instruments and music stands of the London Symphony Orchestra are arranged around the lofty, wood-panelled room where Sir Edward Elgar and The Beatles once stood. Today's artist-in-residence is Elvis Costello, recording his first full-length orchestral composition, a ballet score entitled, Il Sogno.
Tilson Thomas, a familiar face on the LSO podium, is conducting the recording. Collaborations with the Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach and Anne Sofie von Otter have all found a place in a large recording catalogue that began in Forever associated in many minds with a handful of fine pop singles and rock-and-roll albums, Costello has followed his curiosity into a number of unlikely musical adventures.
In the last ten years this work has sometimes only existed in the concert hall. While Costello's earlier experiments with arrangement were carried out in the recording studio by trial and error, with the more complex written orchestrations being delegated to professional arrangers, the concert work was written after he had finally got to grips with the mysteries of musical notation in the early 90s.
This arrangement and compositional style, in which classical instrumentation was joined to elements of the jazz ensemble, culminated in the still and subtle shifts of tone and colour in Costello's orchestrations for the album North. The writing on North could be said to lead the ear of the listener to the more delicate passages in Il Sogno , although the compositional scope and dynamic range is obviously much greater and more varied in this full-scale orchestral work. The creation of Il Sogno began in , when he was approached by the Aterballetto dance company of Reggio Emilia in Italy.
When asked by a very serious French publication, 'Who is your favourite dancer? The people of the court are accompanied by the grander orchestral gestures and an element of musical parody, while the workers are announced by folk dances and marches.
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When it came to the supernatural beings, I thought it only appropriate that they should be swinging faeries. I featured some of my favourite instruments: the cimbalom and the vibraphone, to add extra colour to the orchestra. I also invited jazz drummer Peter Erskine to play on the cues representing the enchanted beings. The page score was completed in approximately ten weeks, the latter pages being written against the pressures of a deadline, directly into full score. I have learned simply by listening. The introduction of Michael Tilson Thomas into the equation gave Costello an important creative boost.
As well as being a top-flight conductor, Tilson Thomas is a composer of some authority, and he's steeped in the technical disciplines of classical music in a way that the self-taught Costello could never be. He immediately began running a critical eye over the score. During our subsequent sessions we examined the score bar by bar, " Costello recalls. I'd say 'that's where the dancers do something very active against a background of still music', and he had to remind me, 'The dancers won't be there!
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This recording couldn't be more different. These cues have the edges, angles and the use of interesting rhythmic motifs that I go looking for in rock-and-roll but the way they are achieved is utterly different. I believe it is also possible to provoke the imagination and the intellect without departing completely from recognizable forms or proposing an entirely unprecedented musical language just because something is a new composition.
It's for the listener to decide what they get from it. He is perhaps best known for his performances with The Attractions, The Imposters and for recent concert appearances with pianist, Steve Nieve. Costello's songs have been recorded by a great number of artists. In he began a songwriting partnership with his wife, the jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall, resulting in six songs included in her spring release, The Girl In The Other Room.
The late Deutsche Grammophon release North , an album of piano ballads composed, orchestrated and conducted by Costello, retained the number one position on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Chart for five weeks. In addition to a short tour of Italy and Portugal in the spring with Steve Nieve, Costello has returned to the recording studio with his band The Imposters, which also features Nieve, bassist Davey Farragher and drummer Pete Thomas.
An album of new Costello compositions will be released in the autumn of by the Nashville-based Lost Highway imprint. The music was originally commissioned in by the Italian dance company Aterbaletto for their adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The recording will be released in the autumn of by Deutsche Grammophon.
In truth, I had little or no understanding of the world of dance. However, I became fascinated by the grace and dynamism of a company as guided by their individual and imaginative choreographer, Mauro Bigonzetti. I deliberately set aside modern methods involving computers, preferring a pencil and paper. The two hundred page score was completed in approximately ten weeks, the latter one hundred and seventy pages being written against the pressures of a deadline, directly into full score.
Apart from the occasional advice of one of my composing or conducting colleagues, I worked without a collaborator. However, I must acknowledge all the patient and careful work of Allen Wilson, who prepared the printed material. Due to a breakdown of communication, I arrived to find a harpsichord in the orchestra but not a hammer dulcimer in sight. The premiere of the dance production took place at the Teatro Communale in Bologna on October 31st Following the interest from Deutsche Grammophon in making a fully realised recording of the music, I began this adaptation to a concert work.
I was very fortunate to be able to discuss the matter with Michael Tilson Thomas, who examined the score with me, bar by bar, asking many invaluable and challenging questions. Subsequently, I made a number of small additions and revisions to the piece. The experience of hearing the music performed in Bologna lead me to approach the drummer, Peter Erskine to augment the orchestral percussion section for the recording. I also composed additional parts for the saxophonist, John Harle. Elvis Costello. I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones.
These tracks make up the three sections of an overture and retain titles relating to the original dance production. Throughout this interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the choreography demanded that certain small liberties be taken with the play's original order. Their procession is accompanied by orchestral gestures of mock grandeur. The cimbalom makes its first appearance as courtiers and attendants carry out their functions. The wedding music is heard for the first time 1' When the cimbalom and strings melody is repeated, but more ominously 1'52 , the mood of a coming celebration gives way to uncertainty and a suggestion of the trouble ahead.
Egeus hurls an accusation at Lysander. The authority of Theseus is sought and his voice is heard 1' Hermia is threatened with banishment to a convent or even death.
Upon that day either prepare to die For disobedience to your father's will, Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would; Or on Diana's altar to protest For aye austerity and single life. The arguments continue with Lysander's protestations 2'00 and with Hermia pleading her case 2' There is another moment of tenderness between the forbidden lovers 2'55 , and then the tension is briefly relieved by a comic musical prediction of the enchantment to come 3' The sense of order and harmony is thrown into turmoil as Theseus delivers his ultimatum to Hermia.
Why is your cheek so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast? The expression of their love gradually becomes more passionate but it is constantly underpinned by the rhythm of events 1'49 that may overwhelm them and the fears and questions 2'35 contained in their decision to run away together. To choose love by another's eyes. Her unrequited love for Demetrius is expressed by the physical discomfort of her clumsy attempts to imitate Hermia.
Her jealousy becomes furious anger 0'20 as she decides to reveal the lovers' plan to Demetrius. The assignment of roles is complicated by Bottom 0'32 , who wants to play all of the parts. He repeatedly interrupts the attempts of his colleagues to portray each character 0'43 until his theme is heard to dominate 1' The fairy realm is seen for the first time 0' Despite threats and insults, Helena follows him.
She is abject in her love.
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you: Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave, Unworthy as I am, to follow you. Once she is asleep, Oberon enters 0'40 and squeezes the flower juice on her eyes 1' The king doth keep his revels here to-night: Take heed the queen come not within his sight; For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she as her attendant hath A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king; She never had so sweet a changeling; And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; But she perforce withholds the loved boy, Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy.
Act II, scene 1 Tr. And here the maiden, sleeping sound, On the dank and dirty ground. Pretty soul! She durst not lie Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy. Churl, upon thy eyes I throw All the power this charm doth owe. Act II, scene 2 Helena and Demetrius enter running and still bickering. He finally exits, leaving her behind.
She stumbles across the sleeping Lysander, who wakes and immediately falls uncontrollably in love with her 1' The confusions of attraction begin 2' Hermia in turn is woken from a troubling dream and goes searching fearfully for her love 4' The track concludes with a reminder that this has all been Puck's handiwork 4' Bottom's comical vanity and ludicrous theatrical notions continually delay their efforts.
The invisible Puck has his sport in further disrupting the proceedings. What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here, So near the cradle of the fairy queen? What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor; An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause. Act III, scene 1 Puck transforms Bottom by giving him an ass's head 1'10 and all his companions flee.
In the Aterballetto production, this was represented by a television descending from the ceiling to project the image of a donkey. Titania wakes 1'15 and because of the enchantment of the flower liquid falls madly in love with Bottom the Ass. Thou hast mistaken quite and laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.
In the Aterballetto production, Oberon's chastisement of Puck was interrupted by the odd and humbling sight of Titania being borne on the back of Bottom the Ass 1' For she his hairy temples then had rounded With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers; And that same dew, which sometime on the buds Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls, Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
Act IV, scene 1 Tr. O hell!
Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. Act IV, scene 1 Bottom has quickly become accustomed to the fairies attending to his every whim. Soon both Bottom and Titania are lulled to sleep 0' Oberon orders Puck to release the four lovers from the spell. He then lulls them into a sleep so that he can cancel the spell and allow their loves and loyalties to be restored.
Music, such as charmeth sleep! He wonders if he has really been an ass. I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. The four lovers are discovered by Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, their train and hounds 2' The huntsmen rouse the sleepers with their horns. They wake but are in a confused and half-dreaming state: Methinks I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double Are you sure That we are awake? It seems to me That yet we sleep, we dream. Act IV, scene 1 Hermia and Lysander confess their plan to elope and their attraction is restored, while Demetrius relates: And I in fury hither follow'd them, Fair Helena in fancy following me.
Act IV, scene 1 Now he finds himself transformed in his love for Helena. No more words: away! Go, away! Nevertheless, they are all charmed, and the entertainment has lessons for all. Act V Tr. New wedding music accompanies the two couples, Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius 0' The wedding festivities gather pace and involve the entire company 1'55 , but the presence and influence of Puck is heard and felt as he briefly suspends the action 2'03 with another spell.
The wedding music then becomes more and more frenzied 2'24 until it is interrupted once more by Puck with a return to the music of the very opening bars of the score, and the thought that this has all been a dream 2' If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend: If you pardon, we will mend: And, as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, We will make amends ere long; Else the Puck a liar call; So, good night unto you all.
Puck Two. The Identity Parade. The Face of Bottom. The Spark of Love. Oberon Humbeld. Twisted - Entangled - Transform and Exchange. The Fairy and the Ass. John ;s River Similar Items. Augustine Founded A. Augustine, founded a. The Spaniards in Florida, comprising the notable settlement of the Hugenots in , and the history and antiquities of St. Downloads The Spaniards in Florida : comprising the notable - Netlog The Spaniards in Florida : comprising the notable settlement of the Huguenots in , and the history and antiquities of St. The Book of Life.
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