Angelus – Renie

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    Gretchen Cover on #219082

    I played Angelus by Henriette Renie for a church service today. I tried to find out online what this meant and could only find that Mdm. Renie was very religious and Angelus was part of a Catholic service. However, the music director put notes in the church program saying: “This is a work based on the Angelus bell pattern, a call to prayer often rung at 6:00 pm comprising of three sets of three strikes of the bell followed by 9 strokes, though the latter may be substituted with a variety of strikes.”

    I hope this explanations helps others to understand the music.

    PS If you play Angelus notice there is a separate note at the top of the glissandos. This is another bell sound The score is available on imslp.

    balfour-knight on #219116

    Thanks for posting this, Gretchen! The Angelus by Renie has long been a favorite piece of mine, along with the other two pieces in her collection called Feuilletts D’Album, or Album Leaves. The Angelus was rung three times per day, at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. (To see a wonderful painting depicting two peasants bowing in prayer at the ringing of the Angelus, see the beautiful painting by Jean Francois Millet called the Angelus.)

    The first piece in Renie’s Album is called Esquisse, or Sketch, and is very beautiful. The second one is Danse D’Autrefois, or Dance of Another Time, again, very nice, but it requires some careful damping on the harp (I enjoy it the most on the piano, with dampers, ha, ha!). The third piece, of course, is the Angelus. These three make a real dandy addition to any varied program of harp music, and they have been well-received when I have presented them.

    Hope all of you look these up and enjoy them! I use the Grandjany edition, published by Lyra Music Company, by the way. Thanks again, Gretchen, for bringing this up!

    Happy Harping,

    carl-swanson on #219118

    Balfour- You’re right. Angelus was rung three times a day. But for centuries, workers worked a 12 hour day, which started at 6 in the morning and went until 6 at night. So the Angelus ringing of the bells marked the beginning and end of the work day for most people. I think the peasants in the Millet painting are thanking God that the work day is finally over!

    emma-graham on #219119

    The Angelus bell is still broadcast daily on Irish TV and radio. On TV it is just before the 6pm news. On radio it is twice a day.

    I love these three pieces. I seem to remember recording the Danse D’Autrefois a thousand years ago!

    Gretchen Cover on #219129

    Thank you for the additional informative comments. I typed “angelus bells” instead of “angelus” on google. A lot of interesting information appeared.

    Alison on #219182

    Thanks for this insight, I remember learning this myself at lunchtimes in the corner of a crowded and noisy classroom when a schoolgirl and I still play it today on gigs. I knew from the marking cloche under the stave at the opening that it was bells so that’s really helpful to someone with an Anglican upbringing.

    Alison on #219183


    goatberryfarm2010 on #219579

    I’m sure no one needs to be reminded, but…
    The Angelus is still prayed, daily, as is the music for the Mass.
    I’m glad you were able to get a little extra info on The Angelus, but please be aware that your comments may come through this medium in a way that angers or hurts another. Text doesn’t reflect tone.
    Just an FYI.

    Gretchen Cover on #219580

    Jennifer, I find your comment puzzling. How can a discussion about a classic harp piece by one of the foremost female French harpists be offensive? Are you familiar with this piece?

    carl-swanson on #219592

    Gretchen- I’m entirely in agreement with you. I have no idea what Jennifer is offended about.

    balfour-knight on #219628

    I was just re-reading this entire thread to make sure, but I do not see any “offensive” elements so far. I agree with Gretchen and Carl! Everyone seems to have shone the proper respect for the Angelus, both the beautiful piece by Renie and the prayer which inspired her to write such a gem for harp.

    goatberryfarm2010 on #219633

    I didn’t say your post was offensive, but I thought the reference to peasant workers only praying the Angelus as an end of day thing, not a prayer, felt off.
    This prayer continues to be prayed & sung, regularly.
    I think the issue is the medium. I’m not accusing – just trying to ask for sensitivity.

    Gretchen Cover on #219645

    I found Carl’s remark witty. So did my Catholic friends with whom I shared this discussion. You did not, obviously. The people contributing to this thread have are long-time members of Harp Column and by now know what to write for this particular group. Let’s get the discussion re-focused on the music and not political sensitivities. Otherwise nothing can be said in this forum.

    Jerusha Amado on #219699

    As a long time poster on Harp Column I also agree that Carl’s post was not insensitive. Also, he has been contributing on this forum for many years and has provided much guidance and help to the harp community.

    balfour-knight on #219890

    Thanks, Jerusha, I also have enjoyed Carl’s posts for many years here! Thanks, Carl! We owe you a lot!

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