All The World's a Stage - Music for William Shakespeare Music from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries composed for Shakespeare's plays or to celebrate his work. A wide range of instrumental sounds and some splendid singing create a fascinating programme of dynamic and cheerful English music, performed by one of Britain's leading ensembles. The contents of this CD grew almost directly out of Musica Donum Dei's popular concert programme 'For the Love of Shakespeare'. In these live performances we sought to offer a spectrum of Shakespearean music from the very end of the 16th through to the later 18th century, together with some indication of the original dramatic contexts within which the pieces were first given. Here, we present a variety of original English song-settings and instrumental pieces from Shakespeare's own time (Morley and Johnson) through to Dibdin (1769), including some striking items composed for The Tempest by Matthew Locke, as well as a sequence of movements inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream taken from Purcell's Fairy Queen music. We are not thorough-going purists, but believe that the spirit of the music is usually best served by adopting the most appropriate performance style for each era - viols for the early songs, 'twig' bows for the 17th-century string music, and recorders and flute where they seem most appropriate.