The Food of Love

Medium food of love

Saturday 14 October, 7.45 pm

Georgian Concert Society, St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1NQ

Shakespeare’s plays were at the heart of the Restoration theatrical repertory. Freely adapted, with lavish music and spectacular staging, a number of them remained popular even after a new Restoration repertory had developed. In this programme, music by Henry Purcell is placed alongside that of his predecessors, Matthew Locke and Robert Smith, and of his pupil John Weldon, painting a picture of changing musical approaches to the words of the bard. The programme also includes the earliest surviving setting of a sonnet by Shakespeare, an adaptation of Sonnet no. 116 by Henry Lawes.

The music

Robert Smith (c. 1648–1675): Chacone in B flat

Henry Purcell (1659–95): ‘If music be the food of Love’ (Twelfth Night), 1st version

Matthew Locke (1621–77): Alman from The Rare Theatrical

John Weldon (1676–1736): ‘Take, O take those lips away’ (Measure for Measure)

Songs in The Tempest
Pelham Humfrey (1647–74): ‘Where the bee sucks’
John Weldon: ‘Dry those eyes’
Henry Purcell: ‘Dear pretty youth’
with instrumental music by Locke and Smith

Henry Purcell: ‘If music be the food of love’ (Twelfth Night), 3rd version (Z379c)

Matthew Locke: Song and dances in Macbeth (1664)

Henry Lawes (1595–1662): ‘Self-blinding error’, version of Shakespeare’s sonnet no. 116

Henry Purcell: Songs and dances in The Fairy Queen (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

The musicians

(Rachel Elliott soprano, Nicolette Moonen violin, Anna Curzon violin, Rachel Stott viola, Robert Smith bass violin, Silas Wollston harpsichord)