Kean on Shakespeare©

The music you hear is a clip of Helena singing Quilter's Shakespearean song
'When Daffodils
begin to peer'
click here


Voted Man of the Millennium, William Shakespeare's works have been translated into most of the World's languages. His legacy is one of our greatest national assets. The richness of his vocabulary and the poetic genius of his writing have inspired generations of artists, writers and composers.

A fascinating new slide illustrated lecture by Brenda Kean, discusses the theories and legends of Shakespeare's wilderness years, looking at the evidence and reasons for Shakespeare coming to the North West. "From my extensive research, it is my belief that learned his craft as an actor and his skills as a writer here in the North West, during the years from 1580 until 1593, when he became famous."

This thought provoking discussion about a time of spies and conspiracies is complemented by a 'progress' around the historic houses and heritage sites included in the presentation. "I hope to encourage visitors to experience and appreciate the beauty of my home county where Shakespeare spent his 'salad days', 'before he came to man's estate' in London."

Helena Kean's recital of classical English songs, represents the most evocative settings of Shakespeare's texts by 20th Century classical composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Roger Quilter, Michael Head and Madeleine Dring. From 'Othello' to 'Twelfth Night' Shakespeare's plays are full of music and song. The bard used music in all his plays to create atmosphere, add dramatic tension or simply for comic enjoyment.



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The recital includes a special focus on Lancashire composers, with songs by William Walton and Thomas Pitfield. "I have researched over 200 songs and 400 years of English musical history to find an interesting and varied selection of songs for this recital." The Rawsthorne Trust commissioned a piano reduction of an unpublished song by Rossendale-born Hollywood film composer Alan Rawsthorne, making our performance at Towneley Hall, Burnley in 2001 the World Premiere. To highlight the continuing importance and inspiration of Shakespeare's text in the 21st Century, the recital also includes contemporary songs by Merseyside born composer Ian Higginson and a new commission from young composer Yvonne Eccles, from Great Harwood, near Blackburn.

Helena's CD's 10
Plus 1.50 P&P