Music and Speeches from RSC's Richard II Available on CD Oct. 18

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18 Oct 2013

David Tennant
David Tennant

Music and speeches from The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Richard II are available for purchase on CD and from iTunes beginning Oct. 18.

The recording is the first in a series capturing some of the live and specially commissioned music composed for RSC productions of all Shakespeare's plays.

The CD contains Paul Englishby's original music composed for Richard II. It also features music from the 1913 production by Ralph Vaughan Williams from the RSC's archive, music that has not been heard since the production's performance.

The CD also includes key speeches from the play featuring David Tennant in the title role, Jane Lapotaire as the Duchess of York and Michael Pennington as John of Gaunt.

"Our ambition is to try to capture at least some of the specially created music (which is always performed live for our productions), along with speeches that give a flavour of the performance," RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said in a statement. "We also want to include archive recordings of some of the most talented composers of the 20th Century that we have commissioned to score our productions. Our archive includes not only Ralph Vaughan Williams, but many exciting talents from Lennox Berkeley and Django Bates to Laura Marling."



Vaughan Williams composed music for Frank Benson's production, which was performed 100 years ago in Stratford-upon-Avon and has remained in the RSC's archives since then. He worked with Benson for the 1913-14 season and also composed music for The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry V.

Richard II began performances Oct. 10 and continues through Nov. 16. 

The next albums will feature music from Gregory Doran's forthcoming productions of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts I and II and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Simon Godwin. These productions will play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in repertoire in 2014.

The album is released on CD and for download Oct. 18. Visit the RSC online shop at www.rsc.org.uk/shop/item/62328-richard-ii-music--speeches-cd-2013

The track list follows:

1. Lacrimosa (Englishby)
2. Richard (Englishby)
3. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur? (speech Act I Sc ii Duchess of Gloucester - Jane Lapotaire)
4. In Paradisum (Englishby)
5. Methinks I am a prophet new inspired (speech Act II Sc i John of Gaunt - Michael Pennington)
6. True Born Englishman (Englishby)
7. Sicut Cervus (Englishby)
8. Of comfort no man speak (speech Act III Sc ii Richard II - David Tennant)
9. Bolingbroke (Englishby)
10. Requiem Aeternam (Englishby)
11. Eased with being nothing (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
12. Greensleeves (arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams)
13. In weeping after this untimely bier (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
14. Agnus dei (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
15. Pie Jesu, Amen (Englishby)

More information can be found by visiting www.rsc.org.uk/.