After four years of preparation and research, I’ve launched a new record label, Globe Music – capturing special collaborations at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Globe Music sets out to capture the intimacy of our candlelit concerts in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A 17th century-style jewel box theatre, one of the great revelations of the space when it opened in 2014 was the crystalline acoustic that has quickly established it as a world class chamber music venue.
My ambition for Globe Music is to bring together some of the world’s finest musicians in special, unexpected collaborations, to bottle a unique environment where music and the theatrical meet.
So far we’ve made three discs. Ian Bostridge and Xuefei Yang launched us in September with Songs from Our Ancestors – a length disc spanning 2000 years of Chinese, English and German folk songs, lieder, and lute songs that span both these incomparable artists’ heritages. The Schubert cycle is one of the best out there. The Dowland is unique and special and belongs in this room. Stephen Goss’ Book of Songs, written for Ian and Fei, rounds out the disc with six settings of poems written over 2500 years ago.
The second disc we made was historical music from our Broadway/West End hits Twelfth Night and Richard III. Claire van Kampen’s arrangements and selections form a jukebox of greatest hits from England and the continent of Elizabethan and Jacobean tunes that dazzled audiences in London and New York. The Musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe brought it all together to record many of these afresh, mixing new tracks with live recordings straight from the Globe.
The most recent CD is Mali in Oak – a duet record taken from John Williams’ series of plucked strings from around the Globe. This is a very special collaboration for me. Kora and cello virtuoso Tunde Jegede and South African guitarist Derek Gripper combine to play some of the most hallowed staples of the Malian griot repertoire while also throwing in new compositions of their own. It’s a beautiful, soulful, graceful disc. I think it goes perfectly either first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed, but hey, just listen to it.
From Classical Music Magazine: