Duke Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder (1957) was inspired by and dedicated to the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival. This suite of musical portraits of Shakespearean characters ranks among his finest work.
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Seattle Shakespeare Company teamed up in February to present the first known performance of Ellington's music combined with related scenes from Shakespeare's plays.
In the Part 2 of this broadcast concert, scenes from Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Taming of the Shrew as well as the Sonnet XVIII are presented by Hana Lass, Darragh Kennan and George Mount with Ellington's musical portraits from Such Sweet Thunder played by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The SRJO is co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman.