Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Ave Maria" by Vavilov in the style of Caccini (updated)

I recently posted a movie review of "The Von Trapp Family: A life of Music". As I stated, there was none of musical pieces from "The Sound of Music", rather music that the family typically performed at the time.

One piece is the "Ave Maria" by Vladimir Vavilov, but commonly attributed to Giulio Caccini. It is performed in the movie to particular infuriate the Austrian Nazi Party members who warned the Captain not to perform there. There are a number of arrangements of the piece. Here are just a few:
(very interesting!)

As you can hear, this is a very versatile piece! You might also notice that it only repeats "Ave Maria" without going into the rest of the prayer.

I have a simple arrangement by John Ross that we used the first Sunday in October with our cantor, Lara Brooksbank. I've taken it to Finale, made only a few minor adjustments to the accompaniment, and added the entire "Ave Maria" text. I've shared this with John, and he likes the result.

Here are JPG files in the key of E minor:

And here are JPG files in D minor, that might be easier for some cantors:



The above files have been modified since I put them up here originally.

If these JPG files don't work well enough for you (they're shown here very small, but are 600 DPI on letter size paper), let me know in a comment, or contact me on FaceBook. I have them in PDF as well. Or, if you need a different key, let me know.

And here is the SATB version in G minor:

I can still add some string parts. I don't when I will get to it, though. I will record the solo version with one of our cantors.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Movie Review of "The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music" (2015)

This is a first for me on my blog - a movie review!

I am a big fan of "The Sound of Music" and whole von Trapp family story. I saw the Julie Andrews' movie back in 1967 at the old St. Louis Theater, now the home of the St. Louis Symphony. Over the last year I've also seen the original German movie, "Die Trapp-Familei" (1956), that was the inspiration for the Broadway show and movie, as well as it's sequel, "Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika" (1958). I highly recommend them as well, maybe even to view before one views this new 2015 movie.

The first of these follows the story line of "Sound of Music" very closely, but with the music being a combination of Catholic hymns and Austrian folk music. The sequel covers their first few years in the USA, starting in New York City, and then moving to their Vermont home. The music and the acting are very good throughout the two movies.

I would also suggest this Wiki article on Captain von Trapp:

Now to the new movie.

This is the story going back to the death of Agatha (nee Whitehead) von Trapp from scarlet fever contract from her oldest daughter, Agathe. This is Agathe's story, as told to her niece (or grand niece), from her perspective. There are many parallels to the earlier movies, but many aspects that were pretty much ignored previously are now brought out quite clearly, mainly the turmoil in Austria before WWII. The Nazi hatred of Catholic, Jews, artists, and familial social status is quite clear! There is still no music from Broadway, but a different selection of Catholic and Austrian music, performed quite nicely.

Here is a YouTube link to the trailer:

I think this film is available somewhere on the internet. I purchased a copy through Ebay. It's a Region 6 DVD, so I can only watch it on my Region 0 (all Region) player, or loan it to people who also have one.

I dare you to get through this with dry eyes!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

St. John's Lane, Dublin

Now that my visit to Dublin is a couple of weeks in the past, I am so thankful to Beverly Faber for recommending the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine for me to visit! I took a lot of photos, and posted the best here in my "Travel Log", but here are a couple of videos:

This fist is a tour of the interior with a few of the front entrance, along with some wonderful Bach background music.

As I mentioned in the Travel Log, this was my first anti-clockwise bell ringing experience, and on a 9-bell method at that! This video is not from that ringing session, but one of the ringers took a really good video of all nine bells being rung on their outing.

This is a really beautiful church - even more so that either of the larger non-Catholic Cathedrals! And the bells were a great experience to ring!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Travel Log - Day 22

There is a very nice Catholic Church named St. Audoen's with a vibrant Polish community supporting it. They don't have any bells.

It's St Audoen's Church, Church of Ireland, that has a peal of bells, including three of the oldest bells in Ireland. The site of these two church buildings have a historic and archaeological commonality, with the latter being the older building.

I rang a touch of Stedman Doubles (5-bell method) on the #3 bell - one of the bells cast in 1423.

I recorded this as I headed on to Latin Mass:

St. Kevin's Church was one of my commitments to investigate by attending their weekly Latin High Mass. I took a taxi from ringing to Mass, just so I wouldn't be late.

As stated on the parish website, this church is designated by the Archbishop as the Latin Mass Chaplaincy. Its architect was E.W. Pugin, just as St. John's Lane from Saturday's bell ringing, and there is a connection to Blessed John Newman.

It looks like this wraps up my trip. All I need now is dinner somewhere and then packing to leave tomorrow morning. It has been a whirlwind of things to do, and I loved it all! And I give special thanks to Michael and Raven who gave me an extra day to relax before finishing my grand tour.

I hope all of you have enjoyed reading about it.

Travel Log - Day 21 Afternoon

After the morning's ringing, we all had lunch at the Porterhouse. Being a group of about 30, they gave us the dining area on the second floor (i.e. the third floor in US terms).

The tower for the afternoon was St. Patrick's Cathedral, a peal of 12 bells with a tenor weighing almost 5,100 pounds (very close to the weight of the tenor at Christ Church Cathedral in the morning). Look here for some interesting notes about the bell tower.

I rang in a touch Grandsire Cinques (11-bell method) and only went wrong once. I'm sure I could ring these methods on larger numbers of bells if I could live in the UK!

I had planned to spend the day being a tourist - seeing both the "Book of Kells" and the Museum display about the Irish "Easter Rising", but bell ringing with my friends trumps being just a tourist. I'll try to get those things on my next trip.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Travel Log - Day 21 Morning

The rail and ferry journey was great, and I checked into my room at Trinity U., Dublin at about 8:30PM. Through email correspondence I had learned that ringers from Southwark Cathedral were also visiting Dublin this weekend on a ringing outing, and that I was welcome to join with them ringing today. I had planned on ringing in both of the major Cathedrals (neither Roman Catholic) but they were ringing in a few more!

The first was at 9:30AM - a very beautiful Catholic church designed by E.W. Pugin, son of the famous A.W. Pugin. I found many architectural and ornamental aspects that reminded me of our own Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, also designed by an Irish architect. The steeple is the highest in the city, but the tower was not designed for bells - you can read about them HERE.

The climb up to the ringing room was wild! (See the above link to the church's website about the bells.) The first spiral staircase went only up to the choir loft. The pipe organ is spread across the back wall with two casework towers left and right. These have facade pipes, but no interior pipes. On the left side this case hides the lower part of another steel spiral stair leading up to a straight stair into the ceiling above the choir loft! (A few of the Southwark Cathedral ringers declined to go up.)

Views from the stairs:

The ringing room is narrow, with bells 1-4 in a straight line along the west wall. The sallies are green/white/yellow, the national colors of Ireland:

This ring is anti-clockwise, i.e. the lighter weight bells are to one's left rather than right. The tenor bell weighs 2550 pounds. I rang the #5 bell to a touch of Grandsire Caters (9-bell method). This being my first ever anti-clockwise ringing, I was surprised that this was one of my best on this method!

Here are some photos of the beautifully decorated interior:

Oh! And there's a connection between this church and a Diocese in India:

Next, we all walked a few blocks to Christ Church Cathedral where they have augmented their bells to a total of 16! I rang rounds and call changes on the #4 bell. The calls were to be executed similarly by each group of four bells, e.g. bells 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16 were each considered to be 1-4. The rest of the ringers were capable of more complex ringing in 16, but I just watched and listened!

Here are photos of both exterior and interior:

And the organ is by Irish builder, Kenneth Jones, whose firm also built the organ at St. Michael's in downtown Charleston.
(photo from the internet)

More on the rest of the day later.