Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.
Our Revels Are Now Ended
From Songs and Dances from ‘”The Tempest” by James Primosch
Performed as part of Brave New World: Music of The Tempest
Recorded at Washington National Cathedral, January 2014
View the event on Folgerpedia
- Robert Eisenstein, viol
- Christopher Kendall, lute
- Rosa Lamoreaux, soprano
- Gwyn Roberts, recorder
- William Sharp, baritone
- Lisa Terry, viol
Read the introduction by Folger Consort Co-Artistic Director Christopher Kendall:
Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES! I’m Christopher Kendall, and I’m a founding member of the Folger Consort. The Folger Shakespeare Library has launched Encores, a series that brings you music, plays, and spoken word from the Folger archives.
In this Encore episode, you’re going to hear music from Songs and Dances from “The Tempest,” by composer James Primosch, commissioned by the Folger Consort. Looking for a composer who could handle the challenge of writing music for our instruments—which an early critic of the Consort called, I think, “authentic reproductions of obsolete instruments”—we thought immediately of our friend and colleague Jim Primosch, for several reasons:
1) Jim is himself a performer/composer, very much like the composers from the periods the Consort plays.
2) Although Jim composes avant-garde new music, he also writes deeply spiritual sacred music in a sort of extended neo-Renaissance style, so this felt very appropriate for us.
3) Finally, Jim is one of the most masterful setters of text among contemporary composers, and we were asking him to set words of Shakespeare, after all.
We were thrilled and honored that Jim agreed to tackle the project. Scoring the piece for the Consort’s period instruments, he captured their distinctive character extraordinarily well.
The Consort first performed and recorded this work on our 1998 CD, titled The Tempest; the excerpt you’re about to hear is from a performance at the Washington National Cathedral in 2014, featuring soprano Rosa Lamoreaux and baritone William Sharp, along with my Consort colleague Robert Eisenstein, guest instrumentalists, and yours truly playing lute.
We hope that you enjoy this performance of “Our Revels Now Are Ended” from Songs and Dances from “The Tempest” by James Primosch. If you’d like to know more about Folger Consort please visit folger.edu. There, you will find information about upcoming programs. We hope you will join us for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you for tuning in.
Check back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger Theatre, Folger Consort, O.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.