Literature and Music (31)

Composers and Writers

Composers have often fueled their passion with literature, which has become an unending source of inspiration. From Purcell to Debussy, you will find below a special selection of musical masterpieces inspired by our literary heritage!

The first signs of collaboration between composers and writers were shown in plays. Indeed, plays have traditionally been performed with a small orchestra in the orchestra pit, bridging the transitions between the scenes, strengthening a character's personality, or highlighting the reigning atmosphere. In the 17th century, the British composer Henry Purcell set to music the opening and the pantomine of several plays from Shakespeare, such as the Timon of Athens in 1618, and The Tempest in 1690 (the Dryden version). Only two years later, he finished the writing of one of his greatest masterpieces, The Fairy Queen, a semi-opera adapted from the very famous A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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