Saturday, April 05, 2008

Things coming together!

A picture of the route has almost been formed - and a starting day set: It won't, I imagine, come as a surprise to people to know I will take the first steps on 'St George's Day'.
A surge of ancestor pride - I refuse to accept it as Nationalism, and patriotism is too sexist for my tastes (distinctly "Macho" if you live here in Romania).

A couple of interesting points and ideas have popped up as I've researched.

One concerns the ubiquitous 'Greensleeves'.

I had, along with countless others always thought this was possibly composed by Fat Henry (8th King of the name in the English realms).

Apparently not. Too modern for him to have done. But quite possibly written around the time Shakespeare was starting out as a sonnet writer - remember that.

I am also, as you might have guessed from that little snippet, working my way through the music of the period too - and came across a great double cd - Celebrating Shakespeare: This World's Globe.

I'm also getting heavily tied down in the church music of the period and taking every excuse to listen to William Byrd.

And final snippet (No 3, for those counting) - Dido, Queen of Carthage! By Mr Marlow (e-refused).
Not a play I know well, possibly the first Mr M. wrote - with another (so Elizabethan).
What got to me was the almost opening - after a prologue of gods and things, there is a Storm.
Now, read that if you dare and refuse to connect with Shakespeare's 'Tempest' opening. Replace Prospero for Jupiter - Hermes - Ariel; We've got a daughter and a man washed up on shore - with his son ... all echoing the latter play - and all so much poorer!

I am tempted to suggest that this could well be a play Shakespeare acted in.
(If I was really pushing it - and speculation is firmly drifting into dreamland now - I'd be tempted to say it could well be the first play Shakespeare acted in! And did he play Jupiter?)

The final scattered thought comes from slightly later in the same play - Aeneas has one of those speeches which point out beautifully the difference between Shaksper and Marlow (e-less in Timisoara): The mighty line.
It's a great speech to 'Bombast' out. Is this the sort of thing Shakes was trying to copy early on?

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Craig said...

Could be, could know, we know so little about the details of what was acted, and when, and who performed. I believe most of the experts think this play was done at University, then by a boys' company, but who knows? Shakespeare certainly thought fondly of "Dido," based on the tribute he gave it in "Hamlet." I'm always touched by the Marlovian tributes in Shakespeare, even the mangled quotes that Pistol spouts.

And I agree with Hamlet! That one speech in "Dido" moves me deeply. I don't think it's all bombast, although I suppose you could deliver it that way. I think it's a really quite wonderful counterpoint to the rah-rah militarism so prevelant in contemporary plays--vivd, powerful, always gets an emotional response out of me. Honestly, I like it better than Shakespeare's riff on it ("Anon, he finds him..."), which _does_ just strike me as beautifully executed bombast, Charleton Heston's rendition notwithstanding.

I've got a very nice MP3 of a BBC prodution of "Dido" from a few years back. I wonder if I could tempt you with it?

Craig said...

Okay--so I finally dug up that old MP3 of Dido, QoC. I'll get it uploaded to a file sharing service this weekend and give you the word. I'll probably need to split it up into smaller pieces to use one of the free file-sharing services out there. Or, if you have a gmail account or similar, I can just send you a few 9MB chunks. Hope you like it!