playful, frisky, and provocative mobiles by Kristien Dirckx float above the stage during The Juliet Letters
Oh, Love: the blinding passion that absorbs everything, the ideal image of Romeo and Juliet – but also the disappointment and disillusionment, the raw pain of indifference or betrayal.
The Vlaams Radiokoor gives expression to the two faces of Love. The Juliet Letters, a series of songs written by Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet, are a dramatic and sometimes cynical reflection on love. Both opposition to and belief in the beauty of love come from beautiful choral works of both male and female composers.
“I thought I'd write to Juliet, for she would understand.” This is the opening line of one of the songs that Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet wrote together for the album The Juliet Letters.
A newspaper article about a professor in Verona who replied to letters addressed to Juliet Capulet, as well as the coincidental meeting of the British songwriter and the string quartet, was all it took to set up this unusual musical collaboration. All 5 musicians contributed to the music and the texts, imagining what the professor had been able to read in those letters – and more importantly: what the answer might have been…
“I once loved someone the way that you do
But I had to let her go
I lived with my regret
Don't despair, my would-be Juliet”
As a counterpart to the sometimes mournfully sarcastic songs, bittersweet a cappella works have been woven throughout the programme, allowing the other face of love to come to the fore.
Elvis Costello & Brodsky Quartet
The Juliet Letters (selectie)
Pocket Book VIII & LXV
Love At First Sight
Augusta Read Thomas
3 Shakespeare Songs
The Drowned Lovers
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
8 Part-Songs, op. 119: No. 3, The Blue Bird
Let My Love Be Heard
Two Love Songs: No. 2, Solo et pensoso
Learn more about the music, the composer and the artists, or read the song lyrics.download
Artist Kristien Dirkx created mobiles for The Juliet Letters that visualize love, hovering above the stage.Kristien Dirckx
Get in the concert mood: read the programme notes.read more
A surprising reading list centered around love - compiled by Muntpuntdiscover the books