Dean / Swedish Chamber Orchestra - Rooms Of Elsinore (Hybr) | RECORD STORE DAY

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'The five pieces featured on this recording are the result of an extended fascination and confrontation with Shakespeare's Hamlet', writes Brett Dean in his introductory text, going on to explain that the intention of this programme is to be 'a sonic exploration of the spaces, atmospheres and archetypes of emotion and character in which, and through which, the tragedy of Hamlet unfolds'. These works derive, each in it's own way, from an opera, Dean's take on the topic of Hamlet, premiered in 2017.And once I played Ophelia for soprano and strings focuses on the often-misjudged character of Ophelia. Rooms of Elsinore for viola and piano, here played by the composer on the viola, feels like a drone flying over the castle of Helsingor, the play's supposed setting, moving from room to room. Gertrude Fragments for mezzo-soprano and guitar appears like a tribute to the art of lute songs - which are contemporary with Shakespeare - and centres on the complex character of Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. Examining the monologue of Hamlet's remorseful uncle Claudius, Confessio for bass clarinet solo explores the possibilities of the instrument. Finally The Players, a concerto for accordion and small orchestra, revisits the players' scenes from the first act of Dean's opera.A fascinating musical exploration of this most iconic of literary masterpieces.