[DWJ] Fwd: Re: Tune of "Angel of Caprona"

Philip Belben philip at axeside.co.uk
Thu Jul 13 05:16:21 EDT 2017

Reading my e-mail this morning, I was wondering why Kyra was saying so 
many of the things I said yesterday.  It turns out I'd managed to send 
my two replies to the original senders, not the list.

Here's the first.  The boot is now on the other foot - for most of you, 
it will look as though I'm repeating what Kyra just said...


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Tune of "Angel of Caprona"
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:48:13 +0100
From: Philip Belben <philip at axeside.co.uk>
To: Thomas Thurman <thomas at thurman.org.uk>

On 12/07/2017 09:23, Thomas Thurman wrote:
> Do any of you have a mental tune for the "Angel of Caprona"?

Not only a mental tune - I have written one, and I sent it to DWJ for 
her seventieth birthday.

> When I first read TMOC, in primary school, I thought of it
> as fitting the tune of "Jesus, good above all other",
> which we sometimes sang in assembly. I found out today that
> that tune was written to fit a Latin hymn:
> Quem pastores laudavere,
> Quibus angeli dixere:
> Absit vobis iam timere,
> Natus est rex gloriae.

Yes, that is a good fit, although interestingly it doesn't fit the words 
one of the Montana kids made up - ostensibly to fit the same tune - for 
the kitchen spell.  There are one or two other hymns with tunes of that 
metre - "Like a mighty river flowing" is the first that springs to mind.

As far as I know, DWJ did not have a tune in mind.  The story of a tune 
in search of words came, I think, from her having heard "Vltava" from 
Smetana's "Ma Vlast"; when the big tune came in, she thought "That tune 
really ought to have some words!"  This is commemorated in the book by 
her naming the river at Caprona "Voltava".  However, the Angel words 
don't remotely fit.

The tune I wrote (I am away from home atm, but I'll try and scan it when 
I get home) I later realised was influenced by the "French mountain 
song" used by D'Indy in his Symfonie CĂ©venole.


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