Composition - - American Recorder Society
Three Shakespeare Songs
By Anthony St. Pierre April 2023
Countertenor (adult male alto), S, T recorders
The songs, from the plays of Shakespeare, are: Hark! Hark! the Lark; Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away; and Under the Greenwood Tree. The soprano recorder accompanies in the first and third of the songs, while the tenor provides the obbligato in the second. The composer sings and plays on the accompanying recording.
-- Anthony St. Pierre
Shakespeare sometimes provides the words to incidental songs in his plays, and other times simply writes “Song” and you are expected to provide one. It is known that Shakespeare’s contemporary William Byrd composed some of the music. In this new set, the composer has taken three songs whose words are provided — the first from “Cymbeline” Act 2 scene 3, the second from “Measure for Measure” Act 4 scene 1, and the third from “As You Like It”, Act 2 scene 5 — and set them to new music for countertenor with recorder accompaniment. There are two versions of the music available – one has the vocal line set in the alto clef for true countertenors, and the other has it in treble clef for light tenors. The accompaniment is easy for intermediate players, though the third song “Under the Greenwood Tree” uses low E-flat frequently in scale runs. The composer hopes these are performed with a singer, rather than as an instrumental duet.
-- Glen Shannon
No. of Recorder Parts:
New Music for Recorder
Date Added:
Social/Casual, Concert, Fast/Up-tempo, Laid-back/Slow, Tonal/Melodic