If Music Be the Food of Love…
March 18th, 2012
Shakespeare incorporated music in the plots and settings of a number of his plays. In” Twelfth Night,” Duke Orsino calls on the local musicians to keep performing as he tries to woo Countess Olivia.
Inspired by music, his line “If music be the food of love, play on” has gone on to inspire music as well, such as composer Henry Purcell, who wrote the following piece nearly 100 years after the play debuted:
Duke Orsino’s words continue as follows:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
Feast on more of Shakespeare-inspired music Sunday, March 18th at 8pm, and Monday, March 20th at 11pm on Linked Music on SiriusXM (channel 75).