Track Listing

Disc 1:
1. Twelfth Night - "I'll Tell Thee A Tale" (Shaun Davey)
[previewing track]
 0:54
2. Henry V - Overture - The Globe Theater (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 6:37
3. Henry V - Passacaglia - The Death of Flastaff (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 2:57
4. Henry V - "This day is called the feast of St. Crispian" (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 1:56
5. Henry V - Battle and Charge - The French Court (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 5:36
6. Henry V - "Touch her soft lips and part" (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 1:54
7. Henry V - Finale - The Agincourt Song (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 2:13
8. Hamlet - Prelude (Dimitri Shostakovich)
[previewing track]
 3:07
9. Hamlet - Ball at the Palace (Dimitri Shostakovich)
[previewing track]
 2:52
10. Hamlet - "To bem or not to be, that is the question" (Derek Jacobi)
[previewing track]
 2:57
11. Hamlet - "Sweets to the sweet farewell" (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 5:14
12. Much Ado About Nothing - Overture (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 3:46
13. Much Ado About Nothing - Goddess of the Night / Strike Up, Pipers (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 5:58
14. Antony and Cleopatra - "I dreamt there was an emperor Antony" (Jenny Agutter / Bruce McGregor)
[previewing track]
 1:29
15. Antony and Cleopatra - Suite (John Scott)
[previewing track]
 6:41
16. Julius Caesar - Overture (Michael J. Lewis)
[previewing track]
 2:57
17. Julius Caesar - Caesar's Triumphant Entry into Rome (Michael J. Lewis)
[previewing track]
 4:46
18. Julius Caesar - "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" (Derek Jacobi)
[previewing track]
 2:36
19. Julius Caesar - "Caesar now be still / Finale" (Miklos Rozsa)
[previewing track]
 6:24
  Disc Time: 70:54

Disc 2:
1. The Taming of the Shew - "Good morrow, Kate" (Derek Jacobi / Jenny Agutter)
[previewing track]
 1:04
2. The Taming of the Shew - Overture (Nino Rota)
[previewing track]
 4:20
3. Richard III - "Now is the winter of our discontent" (Derek Jacobi)
[previewing track]
 2:53
4. Richard III - Prelude (William Walton)
[previewing track]
 6:45
5. Romeo + Juliet - The Balcony Scene (Craig Armstrong)
[previewing track]
 5:37
6. Romeo and Juliet - "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" (Ioan Gruffudd / Jenny Agutter)
[previewing track]
 2:43
7. Romeo and Juliet - Suite (Nino Rota)
[previewing track]
 7:41
8. Love's Labour's Lost - "Love's Labour's Lost / Arrival of the Princess" (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 5:30
9. A Midsummer Night's Dream - "If we shadows have offended" (Jenny Agutter)
[previewing track]
 0:42
10. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni)
[previewing track]
 3:20
11. Shakespeare in Love - Suite (Stephen Warbeck)
[previewing track]
 7:15
12. Henry V - Prelude - "O for a muse of fire" (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 4:28
13. Henry V - St. Crispin's Day (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 5:08
14. Henry V - "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more" (Ioan Gruffudd)
[previewing track]
 2:14
15. Henry V - Non Nobis Domine (Patrick Doyle)
[previewing track]
 3:44
16. Twelfth Night - "If music be the food of love" (Derek Jacobi)
[previewing track]
 1:08
17. Twelfth Night - "The Wind and the rain" (Shaun Davey)
[previewing track]
 5:41
  Disc Time: 70:13
  Total Album Time: 141:07

Review

by Glenn McClanan
August 30, 2003
[2.5 / 5]

Every once in a while, record companies will bite the bullet and release CDs that they know are geared toward a very specific niche audience that is so dedicated that they will all rush out and buy the CD - and everyone else's eyes will instinctively move right past it when scanning the shelves.  Such is the case with Silva Classic's Shakespeare at the Movies.  If I was a Shakespearean movie fanatic, I would be bouncing off the walls as I write this; but, alas, I am not, so I greet this CD with only moderate enthusiasm.

In theory, this compilation of scores and quotes from various Shakespeare adaptations from the past sixty years of cinema could be a compelling academic study of the diversity of musical compositions in these films.  However, the compilers played it safe, and aimed at only the most hardcore audience by sticking with the most straightforward orchestrations. 

From William Walton's 1944 rendition of Henry V to Patrick Doyle's 2000 rendition of Love's Labour Lost, we get a sense of sameness of these compositions, not diversity.  No one can or should argue the talent of the composer's involved.  Patrick Dole and Craig Armstrong do their material justice, certainly, but as a collective, no one's work really stands out.  What's worse is that the pieces here lack intensity enough to even evoke memories of the films' best scenes.  Basically, to all but the most extreme audience, this 2-CD set would be very unsatisfying.

Similarly, the Shakespeare quotations peppered throughout the soundtrack were very well-read and performed, by the likes of Derek Jacobi and Ben Kingsley, but held little emotional weight for anyone other than hardcore fans.  For the non-fan, I would at least expect an attempt to give excerpts that are more engaging and draw you in.  A CD like this is a big chance to draw in non-Shakespeare believers, and it is unfortunately clear the compilers decided to not take on that task.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this to someone who has a specific fondness for films based on Shakespearean plays.  Having said that, if you are not in that group, this collection just isn't for you.


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