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Shakespeare with a Swing | Keith Fairbairn Quartet/Oxford University Press Choir

Saturday May 19, 2018 at 19:30
St Margaret's Church, Oxford
£12, £10 concessions, under 18s free
Book Online
Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Songs and Sonnets - George Shearing, words by William Shakespeare
  2. Ophelia, Caliban and Miranda - Bob Chilcott
  3. A Duke Ellington Choral Suite - Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Mercer Ellington, arranged for choir by Hywel Davies
    • Take the 'A' Train
    • Satin Doll
    • Lush Life
    • Things ain't what they used to be
    • Perdido

The Oxford University Press Choir, formed in 1985, gives two public performances each year, in May and November. Malcolm Pearce has been the Choir's Musical Director since 2010.

Veteran jazz pianist George Shearing's elegantly swung choral settings of lyrics from Shakespeare's plays not only feature his distinctive brand of close harmony but also pay homage to composers from the past. Composer Bob Chilcott and poet Charles Bennett propose new outcomes for a quartet of the Bard's most famous characters: Hamlet saves Ophelia from a watery grave to ensure a happier outcome than that originally planned for the couple, and through mastery of the saxophone Caliban discovers his sensitive side and lures Miranda back from her 'brave new world' to a fresh start on Prospero's island.

During a distinguished career spanning over half a century, band leader Edward ('Duke') Ellington collaborated with a number of composers and lyricists, including Billy Strayhorn (a name that could very well be mistaken for being that of a minor Shakespearian character), to create a repertoire of original jazz songs unrivalled in variety. The medley of Ellington band hits to be performed includes 'Take the A-train', 'Satin Doll', and 'Things ain't what they used to be'. These, and the rest of the programme, will be accompanied by a distinguished quartet of Oxford jazzmen, who will also perform selections from their own repertoire of jazz standards and originals.

St Margaret's Church
St Margaret's Road
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