Shakespeare is a hugely important influence on so many aspects of arts and culture, and is a veritable goldmine of inspiration and source material for composers. This setting of his sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee” exemplifies just how relevant Shakespeare is to us today. When you think of all the current pop songs where a singer uses similes and metaphors to describe their true love, and then note that Shakespeare was doing exactly the same thing lyrically over 400 years ago.
The choice of this particular sonnet for this musical setting was an easy one – it lends itself so perfectly for musical treatment, both in the flow of the text and in the imagery of the content. The accompanying piano part has a repetitive pattern which runs throughout the setting, and through its simplicity allows the vocal line and the text to come to the fore.
More than any other writer, Shakespeare has influenced artists, filmmakers and composers from one generation to the next, and as such is a towering figure in cultural history.
Christof is currently working on a wider selection of choral settings of Shakespeare’s sonnets, which will hopefully premiere in 2013.
Christof R Davis is a composer of music from Birmingham in the West Midlands. He writes music for film, stage and television alongside choral and instrumental work. To date he has written music for two feature films, countless short films, 3 stage musicals, music for video games and television, a wealth of choral work and several instrumental/orchestral works. He was educated at the Royal Northern College of Music and also works as a musical director, performer and music educator.View project