[CLIP from Such Sweet Thunder: “Circle of Fourths”]. We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution. It’s the best part of wakin’ up. That’s what it means. Because they created these musical sonnets in this piece as well, and I’m not sure I know what that means either. LANIER: And an implication always was that well black folks just really can’t do Shakespeare, and if they try to do Shakespeare it’s going to come out as a kind of parody that denigrates the greatness of the Bard. LANIER: Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Ellington_Recording_Thunder_crDon_Hulstein_webbanner2.JPG, full list of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes, Duke Ellington, Shakespeare, and "Such Sweet Thunder". LANIER: Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. I’m thinking, like, Paul McCartney’s, Ocean’s Kingdom album back in 2011. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. She decided she was going to sing sonnet number 40 over the music for “Sonnet to Hank Cinq.” She discovered that the words of the sonnet fit exactly the melody that Ellington had written, which means that what Ellington had done was to create a melody line that mirrors exactly the 14 line iambic pentameter that Shakespeare has. For 35 years, coffee and non-coffee drinkers alike have belted out one of America’s most recognized jingles in the kitchen, in the shower and in the car. And even though the jingle sounds familiar, it isn’t until the last four seconds of the 30-second spot — when the best part of wakin’ up chorus plays — that you realize that this is a Folgers commercial. This wasn’t discovered until really about 10 years later when Cleo Laine was recording her musical jazz tribute to Shakespeare, Shakespeare and All That Jazz. [CLIP from Such Sweet Thunder: “Sonnet for Caesar”]. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore. We call this podcast I Never Heard So Musical A Discord. BOGAEV: Ellington, I know, introduced this part of the suite at the festival by saying that the principle ingredients used by Shakespeare were tragedies, comedies, histories, and sonnets. He hits everything and he manages to do it in the course of his career—so I can do it in one song. Folgers introduced the Morning Harmonizers on Nov. 25 in a 15-second spot on the brand’s Facebook page. BOGAEV: Would you say it’s for that reason that this has been hailed as a masterpiece? LANIER: It’s extraordinarily difficult to do. Join Facebook to connect with Elliot Cece and others you may know. And it’s true, isn’t it, of so many free Shakespeare adaptations? The essay was republished on our Shakespeare & Beyond blog in 2017. So, you have several different attempts to jazz up Shakespeare. [CLIP from Such Sweet Thunder: “Lady Mac”]. Folgers, pants, phone. What’s the Shakespeare inspiration for it, and why does it stand out? Previous: The ABCs of Performing Hamlet | Next: Olivia Hussey: The Girl on the Balcony. Several critics said, “Well, he just cobbled together some of his old stuff.” And it might be true in a couple of cases, but I don’t know, I think my ear hears something different there. More of Steve? This is Midsummer Night’s Dream. I also read somewhere that he used soloists in his band like characters in a play, and that he sometimes called himself and amateur playwright. Garland Scott is the associate producer. BOGAEV: You know, it’s so wild to think that Ellington and Strayhorn were working on this incredibly complicated, sophisticated music, often all night after a band date in the ballrooms of obscure hotels, right, where they were playing. Folgers in your cup. BOGAEV: So you said both Billy Strayhorn and Ellington were Shakespeare aficionados. No, I think that’s exactly right. Typically, those syllables are arranged in the da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum rhythm. Especially ones that move beyond the Shakespearean language. Soon his robe- and pajama-clad sister and parents, too, are bounding down the stairs like kids on Christmas morning, where they discover their brother and son home for the holidays. © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. She tells this cool story about how she thought Ellington didn’t get the Hamlet section right at all. [CLIP from Such Sweet Thunder: “Such Sweet Thunder” continues]. Video call pro tip: Always have a pot of Folgers on hand, and try to adjust your camera angle before the call. This episode, “I Never Heard So Musical A Discord,” was produced by Richard Paul. Keurig, Keurig Hot, K-Cup, and the K logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission. If you don’t know the original plays very well, you’re not always likely to recognize that the piece is based on a Shakespeare source. ", It’s Geico meets "Glee" meets Folgers, something we’d expect to see on "SNL. BOGAEV: So when Duke Ellington creates this concert ties to jazz suite based on Shakespeare is that why we’re taking notice of it? Want more? So, he said that they simply took those four things, or genres, and decided to progress in fourths through the musical limits. . BOGAEV: The other cultural context for Such Sweet Thunder involves Shakespeare and blackface, and the long history of the minstrel show. But he also, at the very same time, makes a point of saying, Shakespeare also included African experience in his works, which of course speaks to his celebration of black culture during that time period. Doug is someone with both the musical training and the knowledge of Shakespeare to do justice to this unique work of art. LANIER: Yeah, this is part of a very long relationship between African-American music and Shakespeare that stretches back to the 19th century. LANIER: Those plays included little Shakespeare skits, but they were skits done in minstrel form. Photos by Don Hunstein. And Puck is doing his impish intervening in their fates. His essay, “Jazzing Up Shakespeare,” about Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder, was originally written for the exhibition catalogue for Shakespeare in American Life, the Folger’s 75th anniversary exhibition in 2007.

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