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trace it in “Warren,” or in any of the old collections. Agreeably to Enobarbus's instructions, it is introduced in the present volume as a solo and chorus. The words are written in the Bacchanalian style, and with a spirit which demands a corresponding energy from the music not very easy to supply."
Concerning the particular composition to which Mr. Linley alludes, as having a "faint recollection" of seeing it, I am not able to furnish even the presumptive evidence of any setting in the glee form prior to his time ; but it is quite certain that “Come, thou monarch ” has had at least two settings before Mr. Linley's time, of which fact he apparently could not have been aware. One of these settings was the composition of Mr. Thomas Chilcot, of Bath, and its date may be supposed to be about 1750. It is a solo, and would seem to be intended for a tenor voice. Strangely enough, as it must seem to everyone, of the five lines of poetry which constitute Shakespeare's song, Mr. Chilcot has thought fit to set only four, omitting the last one,
Cup us till the world goes round.” Curious pranks certainly has Shakespeare had played with his works ! The next composition to be noticed furnishes us with an instance of what may be termed a prank antithetical to the above. However, before finally quitting Mr. Chilcot's strange whim, it may be noted that his song has been reprinted in Mr. Caulfield's “Collection” with the composer's name omitted ! But completeness in anything is not to be looked for. The composer had dropped out (designedly) Shakespeare's line—one incompleteness ; and the collector has (undesignedly) dropped out the composer's name—another incompleteness ! "and thereby hangs a tale."
And now for the prank antithetical just alluded to. From the prefatory advertisement to an edition of the play, described as " Antony and Cleopatra, fitted for the stage by abridging only,” and published in 1759, it appears that “Come, thou monarch” must have been then set, and sung upon the stage, for in this advertisement we are gravely told that “the song at p. 39 being thought too short, an addition was made to it in rehearsal.” Accordingly, Shakespeare's
five lines are now increased to ten, and thus the great poet is again set to rights. I have not been able to find out whether the setting in question was ever published, or by whom it was composed. As to the increase of the five lines into ten, thus has it been managed. The whole seems to be a compound of Shakespeare and Garrick, perhaps with a little dash of Milton.
“Come, thou monarch of the vine,
Plumpy Bacchus, with pink eyne ;
Free from wisdom's fond control,
“Monarch come, and with thee bring
Cup us till the world goes round,
The instructions of Enobarbus, to which we have seen Mr. Linley allude, are as following:
“ All take hands.
[Music plays. Enobarbus places them hand in hand.]
The instructions of Enobarbus Mr. Linley has placed as the heading to his own very agreeable and spirited composition, which is perhaps the only one representing, musically, Shakespeare's poetry and stage directions—that is, the only one treated as a soprano solo with a chorus of male voices.
In our own time Sir Henry Bishop has set “Come, thou monarch of the vine” for the stage ; that is, for introduction, I believe, into the operatised performance of “The Comedy of Errors.”
This composition (at least as printed) appears as a chorus in three parts, for male voices only, with an intimation to the effect, that when sung with an accompaniment the first twelve bars may be performed as a solo by a tenor voice. This chorus is a very bold and inspiriting composition.
In the “Shakespeare Album” (1862), Sir Henry's work reappears in a new form. Instead of being for male voices only, and in three parts, it is removed from the original key of D into that of C, and now becomes arranged for soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass-soli and chorus. This arrangement is stated to have been “expressly made " for the “ Shakespeare Album," and certainly answers a want.
In this "Shakespeare Album " we also find a setting of the song for a baritone voice, and with the name of Schubert attached to it. It is not without merit, but surely, as far as Shakespeare is concerned, much too short, and accordingly it is eked out, both in the German and the English (for the words in both languages are given) with a second verse! It is very strange that composers cannot bring themselves to elaborate their own music to the splendid words of the original, and thereby gain the' requisite length for their composition, instead of resorting to this expedient of an additional verse !
In the year 1863, “Come, thou monarch of the vine ' announced as having been both set and sung by Mr. Weiss, the bass singer.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
Act II. Scene 5. The Forest of Arden. Enter AMIENS, JAQUES, and others.
Who loves to lie with me?
Here shall he see
But winter and rough weather." Before I speak for myself as to the music belonging to the beautiful pastoral now in question, I wish to let Mr. Linley be heard. The following are his words respecting the music for Amiens in "As you
like it “ In this charming play of our immortal bard he has introduced several songs, two of which have been delightfully set by the late Dr. Arne. Of both these pieces the Doctor has omitted to notice some of the words; a circumstance greatly to be regretted, and difficult to be accounted for. The first song, ‘Under the greenwood tree,' is in the play followed by a chorus, “Who doth ambition shun,' which could not so well have been sung to the opening strain, but how easily, and with what superior characteristic effect could he not have proceeded with the chorus in question." Dr. Arne's felicitous setting of Amiens' first song,
“ Under the greenwood tree,” is of course well known to everyone who cares for Shakespeare and for music. It had at first seemed to me, as to Mr. Linley, singular that the Doctor had not included the words “Who doth ambition shun” in his composition-setting them to another, or varied strain, of course ; but it has since occurred to me, that at all events it does not follow but that the Doctor may have composed “Who doth ambition shun" as a chorus, following the stage direction of “All together here,” and yet that it may never have been printed. All who are interested in old opera and oratorio music know how unmercifully choruses and recitatives are left unprinted. It must also be remembered that there is a certain amount of most characteristic dialogue, which takes place between the close of Amiens' song and the introduction of the chorus. This dialogue I should now like to give, both for its own sake and as showing that, in the drama, "Under the greenwood tree,” and “Who doth ambition shun” are
are really two distinct pieces.
“ JAQUES. More, more, I prythee, more.
Amiens. It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.
JAQUES. I thank it. More, I pr’ythee, more. I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs. More, I pr’ythee, more.
AMIENS. My voice is ragged; I know I cannot please you.
JAQUES. I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to sing; come, more; another stanza; call you them stanzas ?
AMIENS. What you will, Monsieur Jaques.
JAQUES. Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank you ; but that they call compliment is like the encounter of two dog-apes; and when a man thanks me heartily, methinks I have given him a penny, and he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing; and you that will not, hold your tongues.
Amiens. I'll end the song. Sirs, cover the while ; the duke will drink under this tree; he hath been all this day to look you.
JAQUES. And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is too disputable for my company. I think of as many matters as he ; but I give heaven thanks, and make no boast of them. Come, warble, come.”
Observe here the expression used by Jaques, " Come, sing; and you that will not, hold your tongues.” From this it plainly seems that Jaques looks for a chorus; and although Amieng replies, “I'll end the song,” that would merely relate to the fact that he is the leader of the rest—the solo singer whenever, not merely a song, is required, but also the little piece of solo requirement which often belongs to a chorus.
The want which in this case Mr. Linley felt, he has in some measure supplied, so far as his own work was concerned, by composing music to the words, “Who doth ambition shun," as a chorus to follow