Programe for PIVA concert - 21 November 2014
All arrangements are by Eric Moulder and Piva
“Without the city are some theatres, where English actors represent almost every day comedies and tragedies to very numerous audiences; these are concluded with a variety of dances, accompanied by excellent music and excessive applause of those present.”
Paul Hentzner, Travels in England, 1598
2014 is the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare and Piva felt that it couldn’t let this occasion pass without celebrating it in some way.
Music and the theatre went hand in hand in Elizabethan England and whilst not known as a musician, it’s undoubtedly the case that Shakespeare understood and appreciated music. Shakespeare incorporated literally hundreds of musical references into his plays and, alongside naming specific tunes and ballads, he uses over 300 specific musical terms. This illustrates just how closely linked the worlds of music and theatre were in the late 16th century. Whilst many of the musical references in the plays are lost on today’s audiences, with music so much part of everyday life, an Elizabethan theatre-goer would have recognised all the musical allusions, jokes and puns.
For Londoners, visiting playhouses, inns and theatres to watch productions was a popular outing. Following the building of the first purpose built theatre in 1576, play-going quickly became an accepted pastime regardless of someone’s position in society. Shakespeare and his fellow writers had to work hard to feed the voracious appetite for plays and entertainments. Playhouses, despite their reputation for noisy, debauched behaviour and the threats of cutpurses and vagabonds, attracted huge audiences of people, all seemingly intent on being entertained and enjoying themselves.
Piva aims to give you a flavour of popular music and theatre in late 16th century England and we hope that you, too, will be entertained.
“Speak, gentlemen, what shall we do today? Shall we go to The Globe and see a play? Or visit Shoreditch for a bawdy house?”
Samuel Rowlands, 1600
Piva was formed in 2002 with the view of exploring and playing late 16th century popular music from England and Europe. Our aim was to bring together each members’ experiences and knowledge about the music, instruments and performance practices of the period and create a group that would present this music in an accurate and historical context. Our objective has always been to make this repertoire interesting and enjoyable for a 21st century audience by giving lively and informative performances; creating an atmosphere that will bring this music back to life.
Full details about Piva’s forthcoming dates and venues are listed on their website at:
Further information, photos and news can be found on their Facebook page.