myra music
the website of composer Nigel Hess

Overture (from Much Ado About Nothing)

Description: orchestra

Duration (mins): 4

Genre: Orchestral - Full Orchestra

Instrumentation: 3(III=picc) – 4.3.2.btrbn.1 – timp – perc(3): cyms/vib/tgl/susp. cym/SD/tamb/cymbal/glsp/bell tree/t. bells – harp - strings

First Performance: April 1982, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK: Royal Shakespeare Company/Dir. Terry Hands

Actually used as the entr’acte in the production itself, this concert overture uses material from the joyous dance sequences scattered throughout the well-known love story of Beatrice and Benedict, played on this occasion by Sinead Cusack and Derek Jacobi. 

"The production opens with the cellist Julia Vohralik on stage, and an auditorium filled with the chiming sounds of Nigel Hess's music. It is quite one of the loveliest beginnings I have seen." (James Fenton, Sunday Times) 

"Ralph Koltai's sets, Alexander Reid's cavalier costumes, Nigel Hess's music - it is in a bewitching class of its own." (Robert Cushman, The Observer) 

"Nigel Hess's music is delightful." (B.A. Young, Financial Times) 

"Nigel Hess's music allows an audience to actually leave singing the play." (Philip Key, Liverpool Daily Post) 

"A delightful, ethereal music score by Nigel Hess." (Bernard Weiner, San Francisco Chronicle) 

"Nigel Hess's music seems dipped in silver." (Dan Sullivan, Los Angeles Times) 

"And here Hess's music is even more insinuating and rapturous - though still controlled - until we no longer know whether we are in a theater, a concert hall, or an art gallery." (John Simon, New York Magazine) 

"This production is an iridescent reverie, as delicate as the wind chimes that shimmer in Nigel Hess's exceptionally beautiful score." (Frank Rich, New York Times)

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