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Shakespeare's plays: Holborne's Hearts-Ease (the Honie-Suckle), Voices of Music
Seeded by voicesofmusic on 1 Mar 2016
Author: Voices of Music
We continue our celebration of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary with music from the play Romeo and Juliet: Anthony Holborne's setting of Hearts-Ease, also known as "the Honie-Suckle." Holborne was well known in London, and published a wide variety of arrangements of popular songs in his printed collection of "Pavans, Galliards, Almains and other short Aeirs" of 1599. Although the diarist Samuel Pepys wrote in 1662 "it is a play of itself the worst that I ever heard in my life," the work became one of Shakespeare's best known plays in the 20th century. The mention of the tune in the play occurs during a fascinating exchange of dialog with the musicians in Act IV, Scene V, which includes numerous puns on musical terms and the notes of the hexachord: PETER Musicians, O, musicians, 'Heart's ease, Heart's ease:' O, an you will have me live, play 'Heart's ease.' First Musician Why 'Heart's ease?' PETER O, musicians, because my heart itself plays 'My heart is full of woe:' O, play me some merr
Ensemble: Voices of Music