The art of Shakespeare was a recurring fascination for Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In addition to two operas and numerous settings of songs and sonnets, he wrote 11 Shakespeare Overtures which here receive their first ever complete recording. Deploying all the resources of the symphony orchestra, these are some of the twentieth century’s most dramatic and tuneful orchestral works, spectacular evocations of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
Shakespeare is the leading playwright, and probably the leading writer, in Western civilization. His works are one of the greatest achievements of the human mind and spirit. And yet, for many of us they remain a closed book. Why? Too often, we were force-fed Shakespeare as adolescents—when our own dramas were all-consuming. The language of Shakespeare is 400 years old: even as adults, reading or seeing a play may seem like listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and missing half the notes.