Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Brontë Mass revisited

4BarsRest reviews Philip Wilby's A Breathless Alleluia (with the help of the Black Dyke Brass Band), a Naxos CD which contains six of his works, A Brontë Mass: Memory (A Fragment), among them:

In total contrast comes ‘A Bronte Mass: Memory (A Fragment)’, a quite stunning piece of beauty sung with limpid tenderness by Philip Gault and accompanied by the band with emotional appreciation.
Naxos website has further information on the piece that interests us:

Brontë Mass: Memory (A Fragment) (3:03)

Gault, Phil, baritone
Wilby, Philip, organ
Black Dyke Band
Childs, Nicholas, Conductor

Wilby’s Brontë Mass was commissioned by the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus in 2007, and first performed by them with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in November of that year. The fifth movement sets a fragment of text by Branwell Brontë, and describes the dependable power of music to awake emotional memories in the stoniest heart.

Memory! How thy magic fingers,
With a wild and passing thrill,
Wake the chord that lingers,
Sleeping silently and still.
Winds have blown, but all unknown;
Nothing could arouse a tone
In that heart which like a stone
Senselessly has lain.

Memory! Memory comes at last,
Memory of feelings past,
And with an Aeolian blast
Strikes the strings resistlessly.

UGPulse interviews Lillian Tindyebwa, one of the women of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE).
Did you always know that you would be a writer?
No, I never had the idea that I would be a writer. When I was young, I used to read a lot. My father had a library that consisted of The Adventure of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Shakespeare's complete collection. We had some magazines like Drum, Leadership, and Newsweek. My father was a teacher. He loved reading and so he encouraged his children to read. I made the library my own. I spent most of my time reading books. I read each and every book cover to cover. He kept on bringing new ones and I would endeavor make use of them. I think this made him look for more books.
After I completed my Ordinary Level Examination, I wrote stories in my exercise books, which I later lost. I know this is where the seed of writing was planted. I felt strongly that I could write in the early 90's. I wrote an outline of my novel Recipe for Disaster, which I followed strictly when writing but of course some of the events changed. (Beatrice Lamwaka)
And on a more light-hearted note, Examiner draws a parallel between Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley and Jane and Rochester:
Forget love at first sight, falling in love with an enemy (a favorite of bodice-rippers), or those cop-out, sudden realization romances ("I've loved you all along but only realized it just this second"): for-real romances develop over a period of time in a believable way. Just like Elizabeth and Darcy or Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, the love between the characters grows slowly as both watch the other in a variety of circumstances. The tremendous span of the Harry Potter series allowed J.K. Rowling to develop Harry and Ginny's relationship over a span of time that most authors don't enjoy, making it that much more true to life. (Michelle Kerns)
The Quintessential Knowledge picks 'Jane Eyre-Edward Rochester-St. John Rivers' as one of literature's most touching love triangles. We must say that we would have thought the third party here would be Bertha, though.

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