By Simon Nolan, O. Carm.
This book is an invitation to explore the theme of Carmel and music. In some cases, it deals with Carmelites who were themselves musicians and composers such as Bartolino da Padova, John Hothby, Giovanni Bonadies, Manuel Cardoso, Benedictus Buns and Hermann Cohen, all of whom are receiving greater attention in recent years and are included in this volume. In other cases, Carmelite history, spirituality or even a particular Carmelite have been an inspiration to major composers such as Francis Poulenc, Sir Lennox Berkeley and Sir John Tavener. George Frederick Handel composed music or the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on foot of a commission. Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah may be justifiably brought into the discussion based as it is on the Biblical account of Elijah, Prophet of Carmel.
There is always something a little strange about writing on the topic of music since music is primarily sound, something to be played, something to be listened to. But words can nudge us in the right direction and act as helpful signposts to assist us in our exploration of the music. As an aid to the reader’s listening, a list of available recordings is provided at the end of the volume.
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