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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

GUEST 15 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM
Mrs.Duck 15 Sep 08 - 03:22 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Sep 08 - 03:26 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Sep 08 - 03:28 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 08 - 04:10 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 08 - 05:19 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 15 Sep 08 - 05:31 PM
Terry McDonald 15 Sep 08 - 06:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Sep 08 - 07:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Sep 08 - 07:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Sep 08 - 08:19 PM
Cats 16 Sep 08 - 02:01 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 03:25 AM
greg stephens 16 Sep 08 - 04:53 AM
Manitas_at_home 16 Sep 08 - 05:16 AM
greg stephens 16 Sep 08 - 05:29 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Sep 08 - 05:53 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 05:54 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 05:54 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 05:58 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 06:05 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 06:05 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 06:21 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM
treewind 16 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 06:50 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 07:12 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 09:07 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 09:21 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 09:41 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 09:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 09:51 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 09:59 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 10:09 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 10:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Sep 08 - 10:32 AM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 10:46 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 Sep 08 - 10:53 AM
bubblyrat 16 Sep 08 - 11:15 AM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 11:50 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 12:27 PM
Terry McDonald 16 Sep 08 - 12:54 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM
The Borchester Echo 16 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 08 - 02:31 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 08 - 05:09 PM
the lemonade lady 16 Sep 08 - 06:53 PM
meself 16 Sep 08 - 07:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Sep 08 - 09:09 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 17 Sep 08 - 09:51 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 18 Sep 08 - 04:22 AM
Bryn Pugh 18 Sep 08 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Cats 18 Sep 08 - 07:02 AM
theleveller 18 Sep 08 - 08:01 AM
Cats 18 Sep 08 - 01:39 PM
greg stephens 18 Sep 08 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,LTS Pretending to work 19 Sep 08 - 07:26 AM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Sep 08 - 11:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 08 - 10:53 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Sep 08 - 02:54 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Sep 08 - 04:39 AM
greg stephens 20 Sep 08 - 06:33 AM
Fred McCormick 20 Sep 08 - 06:40 AM
greg stephens 20 Sep 08 - 06:52 AM
Tattie Bogle 20 Sep 08 - 06:57 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Sep 08 - 07:03 AM
The Borchester Echo 20 Sep 08 - 07:12 AM
greg stephens 20 Sep 08 - 08:15 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Sep 08 - 08:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Sep 08 - 07:57 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Sep 08 - 08:19 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Sep 08 - 01:03 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Sep 08 - 04:15 AM
ConcertinaChap 21 Sep 08 - 06:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Sep 08 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,BanjoRay 21 Sep 08 - 07:56 PM
Manitas_at_home 22 Sep 08 - 07:36 AM
Liz the Squeak 22 Sep 08 - 10:25 AM
greg stephens 02 Oct 08 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Melting snow 26 Aug 11 - 07:15 PM
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Subject: Tess
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM

Watched the BBC adapttaion last night - anyone know the name of the slow tune payed for their circle dance?


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 03:22 PM

Geoff seems to think it is The Boys of Wexford


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 03:26 PM

Does anyone know the name of the waltz tune that was used? My wife's insisting that I learn it. I feel I ought to know it but I've got one of those irritating mental block thingies...


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 03:28 PM

I can see the logic behind it, but it was a strange choice to put the Marlott dance on the cliffs - Marlott (or at least, the village it was based upon) is about as far inland as you can get in Dorset without getting into Somerset...

Boys of Wexford seems to be the general concensus.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 04:10 PM

The maidens dancing in a circle on the cliff top reminded me of the hilarious folky stuff in 'Wicker Man'. Who were the musicians?


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 05:19 PM

Tess is one of my favourite books - was a little disappointed at the job they made of it; but why oh why do these period productions seldom get the music right?
I can't remember a television play or film where the music worked, at least not since (John Tam's?????) superb work on the St Kilda film 'Ill Fares The Land' (before that it was Pasolini's 'The Canterbury Tales and The Arabian Nights) both of which featured genuine field recordings.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 05:31 PM

According to the BBC board, it was the Mellstock Band.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio2/F2142825?thread=5881052

I love the last comment! (Message 5, at time of writing)


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 06:11 PM

My wife says that she sang a song to that tune when she was in a school production in the lates 50s and it was called 'When First I Set Eyes Upon Mary.' She doesn't know if itwas created for the musical play she was in or whether it was a Beggars' Opera sort of song.


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 07:36 PM

I think it was O'Carolans Planxty Irwin - But I have been wrong occasionaly.

:D


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 07:41 PM

...the waltz tune that is.

D.


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 08:19 PM

The slow tune was 'Rosin the Beau', which some will know as 'Gentle Maiden'.


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Cats
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 02:01 AM

Tess is my all time favourite novel. I too, a little disappointed although I felt the rape scene was handled well. The important touch of wearing a red ribbon in her hair at the start was missing, though. It is the very start of the increasing red theme that runs through it culminating in the red dress on the alter stone. Melstock band defintley the musicians and I would go with Roisin the Beau as well. As for getting the music right, Dave Townsend is one of the finest and most knowledgeable of musicians and Hardy historians and would have a say as to the correctness of a piece.


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Subject: RE: Tess
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 03:25 AM

If you want the correct music of the time, look no further than the Dorchester Museum, which has in its collection a book of tunes that Hardy's father and grandfather played. It's supposed to have been noted down by Hardy himself and the Mellstock band have obviously used it as a source for some of their recordings. Can't get much more authentic than that.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 04:53 AM

I felt there was some incongruity in the presentation of the dance music. The pantomime villain Alec referred to it as dreadful, or some such word, and a pagan ritual, which would have been the totally correct reaction if the music was played in a rough peasant folky way. But as the music was actually played with very middle class precise semi-classical phrasing the comment seemed totally wide of the mark.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:16 AM

But not quite the professional orchestra he would have been used to back in London, say? I think, though, that he would have said something like that to show how superior he was, regardless of how good or bad the music was.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:29 AM

My point was that the phrasing used by the musicians on the TV was too close to that (presumably) used by the musicians Alec would be familiar with.I fully appreciate that this was a theatrical production, not an attempt at historical reconstruction. I merely point out that, to make Alec's comments seem justified, they should have used music played in a more rough-and-ready "folky" attacking style, to contrast with his personality and social background. As is often the case in the use of trad music in a theatrical context, there is always a temptation to veer in either a Wicker Man, or a classical direction; or some combination of the two. Which sometimes works, but I felt it didn't here. The music was played very beautifully, but not in a way that justified Alec's reaction to it. I am making a purely theatrical judgement, nothing to do with authenticity or aesthetics.
As a theatrical musical director who has worked with Hardy music, I know some of the pitfalls, believe me!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:53 AM

I noticed a concertina, a violin, and was a bit surprised by a clarinet.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:54 AM

I'm pretty sure that it was the Clare Brothers who referred to the dancing on the cliff as a 'Pagan ritual' as Alec was not introduced until the next chapter - indeed, Alec was at a dance himself later in the programme.   The Clare Brothers (youngest is Angel, watch out for him later), were sons of a 'Blood and Thunder' priest in the far west of the county, and were themselves at University in training for the priesthood. The women dancing would have been anathema to their modern and mysogynistic Bible teachings (bearing in mind this was written in the 1870's and probably meant to represent the earlier years of the 19th Century). They were "educated" so they would have been more used to 'classical' arrangements, but I feel it was the dance itself, not the music per se, that was considered the pagan ritual. Mind you, 'pagan ritual' is not a phrase that Hardy would have used himself... he became increasing agnostic throughout his life. His actual phrase to describe the scene is 'country hoydens' but it's to be supposed that more people recognise pagan than hoyden.

And I object to the use of 'peasant' to mean 'rough', 'unfinished' or 'sloppy'.... these musicians would have provided all music for social gatherings, church services, weddings, Christenings, funerals, dances and such like. There would be a significant amount of time to practice, especially in the winter months and for the older members of the group. They learned their tunes by ear, and woe betide anyone who played out of order. Instruments were handed down from father to son, along with the tunes and their dynamics. It may not have been what the Clare Brothers were used to, but that doesn't mean it was played with any less skill or precision.

LTS - whose ancestors were the very 'peasants' that Hardy was writing about!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:54 AM

I'm with Greg. The Mellstock band played beautifully, though not in village band style, which was presumably a production decision to make it more "listenable" for today's TV audience. So Alec d'Urberville's attempt at a sneering putdown was a tad misplaced. And I've been singing that flamin' Gentle Maiden ever since transmission.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:58 AM

Ah there's the question...

What is 'Village Band Style'... it's another like 'what is folk?'

If you use it to mean 'rough, ill-tuned and sloppy' then you may need to think again.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:05 AM

No.

As everyone ought to jolly well know, the Mellstock Band can play in many styles including that characterised by West Gallery musicians once they've got down the pub. "Rough, ill-tuned and sloppy" is not, however, one of their options.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:05 AM

Re the clarinet:

From
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/may01/Hardy.htm
(worth reading in its entirety):

Of all the great English novelists, with the possible exception of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy was fondest of music. While Austen enjoyed (and played) art music, Hardy's particular love (while not eschewing art music) was of the music of the people, specifically that of his Dorset youth and earlier. From around 1801 his father and grandfather played stringed instruments in the church band at Stinsford (called "Mellstock" in the novels). Music makes appearances in many of his novels and other writings but particularly in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree, subtitled The Mellstock Quire, a title Hardy himself preferred. Although it was first published in 1871 it is set perhaps a generation earlier than that and one of its principal plot strands is the replacement of the "Mellstock" church band instruments (here, violins and bass viol, though other bands included flutes, oboes, clarinets, serpents and even brass instruments) and singers - by an organist playing a pipe organ in this case, though many churches acquired barrel organs or, later in the 19th Century, harmoniums.

From The Yetties' website:

Hardy's love of the musical folk of Dorset is beautifully illustrated by this quote from 'Under The Greenwood Tree':



Your brass man is a rafting dog, well and good,

Your reed man is dab hand at stirring ye, well and good,

Your drum man is a rare bowel shaker, good again,

But I don't care who hears me say it

Nothing can spake to your heart with the sweetness of a man of strings


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:21 AM

> They learned their tunes by ear, and woe betide anyone who played out of order. Instruments were handed down from father to son, along with the tunes and their dynamics.

True in Ireland too. Packie used to say that the worst insult you could say of a musician is that he or she "stuck the dancers to the floor". Some of the most talented & brilliant players alive were never formally trained. And - as a lot of people reading this will know - playing for dancers knocks the spots off you, fast. There need be nothing "rough" about self-taught local folk (who have a tradition to learn from), then or now. Phrasing, dynamics, and a sense of pitch are things you have (or lack) a natural feel for.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM

Am I right in thinking that the word peasant is related to the French word paysanne, meaning country person, rustic, or provincial?
It has come to be used in a derogatory fashion in English, which I think is wrong.

JM


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: treewind
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM

LTS: "They learned their tunes by ear"
Not all of them. Like Hardy, many village band musicians left behind manuscript books, and I'm sure those that survive now are a small fraction of what used to exist.

You're right, of course, that they played for all social functions, and as musical talent knows no social barriers they were likely a mixture of people of different classes brought together by a common interest. I'd guess it would be more the middle classes that had the time and could afford instruments or a musical education, though musicians who retired from the army were a source of village band instruments too.

I'd imagine the musical standard varied wildly from village to village too!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:50 AM

Ah, but there are manuscript books by the millions available to us here and now; how many session musicians would actually be able to read the dots?

I know many who are considered perfectly able and competant musicians, some even considered brilliant, who are quite unable to follow even the simplest melody when it's written down.

Conversely, I also know many trained musicians who cannot extemporize or introduce new harmonies if they don't have a score in front of them.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 07:12 AM

Ah, I see we're getting to that old chestnut that "real and authentic" f*lk (whatever that is) musicians are not "tainted" by formal music training. Ear and sight playing are not mutually exclusive, nor is one "better" than the other. But it's jolly useful (and saves time) if you can do both. They're only skills, after all, not innate gifts.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:07 AM

Agreed. The innate gifts are a matter of natural talent. There are people with talent and training, there are people with talent and no training, and there are people with training and no talent (who have learned the physical mechanics of playing an instrument but can't do the things that come naturally to innate musicians). Those in the remaining category (possessing neither talent nor training) tend not to play in public, so they're less in evidence; though we've all come across them at one time or another - usually at the least convenient moment.

Therefore the equation is slightly skewed. But true musicality - like being good at numbers or ballet or sports - is something you either have or you don't. Training will not give it to you if it's not there to begin with (as I know from decades of being a music teacher). But classical study can develop and enhance one's natural gifts, and it does not mean the death knell for improvising, playing by ear, harmonising, etc. Lack of talent does that.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:21 AM

I'm not going to comment on the music. I just don't know enough about village bands of the period. However, as a dramatisation of Hardy I thought it was first class. From what I remember of the book, it seemed to stick extremely close to the text. What's more, where adaptations of Hardy often end up looking and feeling like the lid of a chocolate box, this one I think managed to catch the spirit of what he was trying to say.

One or two minor quibbles about the casting perhaps. Neither Alec nor the parson felt right, but I thought Tess was magnificent.

Incidentally, the music played on the cliff. I kept hearing it as something like Believe Me If All These Endearing Young Charms, but not quite. Could it have been the harp tune from which BMEIATEYC was derived?


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:41 AM

There's nothing to stop Believe Me If being played as the air to the song itself - the words were written by Moore before the story takes place, and it was quite popular. Tess and her contemporaries would almost certainly have heard it. Moore's Melodies were the Top 40 of the day.

There's something rather poignant about its meaning, of looking at one's youthful love fondly in old age - because the one thing Tess will never be is old. Death will ensure that she remains forever young and beautiful, because she is only a memory. It's an irony that I think Hardy would have appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:50 AM

Well the tune was certainly around at the time the book was set, although whether it would have penetrated the Dorset countryside by then is another matter. On the other hand, Hardy's villagers would have been more likely to know that than the Bunting harp tune original.

equally, I accept the aptness of the tune for the story. When I get a minute I'll have a look and see if Hardy mentions it.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:51 AM

Well now you've given the ending away!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 09:59 AM

The air pre-dates Bunting - it was published in London in the mid-18th century and is probably even older than that. I would certainly be interested to know if TH mentions it by name in the book. It's been so long since I've read it that I can't remember.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:00 AM

We haven't given the ending away at all. Anyway, you're looking at a study of nineteenth century hypocrisy and social inexorability, not a detective movie.

Shame on you for not having read the book and knowing the ending :-)


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:09 AM

"The air pre-dates Bunting - it was published in London in the mid-18th century and is probably even older than that. I would certainly be interested to know if TH mentions it by name in the book. It's been so long since I've read it that I can't remember."

Could be. I'm just as much at sea with Irish harp tunes as with the stuff they were playin' in them old village bands in Thomas 'ardy's day. But if was published when and where you say, then yes. I'd have said there was a very good chanc eit would have found its way to Dorset.

Anyway, an emergency's broken out. Check the thread on Hardy I'm about to put up and you won't need to read the book.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:21 AM

It's a theme without ending so the ideal incidental music would be without resolution. Indeed, it could be done with two endings as in The French Lieutenant's Woman, with parallel but different alternative endings if employing a Pinteresque screenplay. Then we could have a prequel (Jane Eyre / Wild Sargasso Sea stylee), portraying the downfall of the d'Urbevilles . . . which reminds me, I've just got the irony of Tess reciting that Shelley poem Ozymandias . . .


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:32 AM

Someone has given enough of the end away that a spoiler alert should have been mentioned way up in the top of the thread.

Please have a mudelf edit the second paragraph out of Bonnie's post at at 9:41am Sept. 16. I'm reading this thread thinking I'd like to go back and re-read Tess of the D'Urberilles, and someone new to the novel may make the decision to read it for the first time. Bonnie's post is discussing enough of the outcome to give away the bulk of the ending.

Heaven knows the characters in Hardy's novels don't encounter a simple walk in the park, but they have varying endings. Let's not spill the beans on this one while discussing the musical element of it in it's translation into film.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:46 AM

Perhaps there should also be a spoiler alert outside churches for those parishioners who haven't yet read all of the New Testament and are unaware of the fate of the main character.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 10:53 AM

TH doesn't mention the specific tunes for the dances in 'Tess', but he mentions many tunes in other works ('Under the Greenwood Tree' springs to mind but it's been a few years since I read it). He does give the name of a psalm tune 'Langdon' from the days when we used to sing psalms in church to chants, rather than as contemporary songs. I feel the Church in general lost a great deal of its dignity when they decided to drop psalm chants.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: bubblyrat
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 11:15 AM

Sadly, I missed it, but----reading all of the above, I can't wait to get into it !! I just hope it's more authentic than some of the stuff I have seen in recent years, AND just lately, viz. Alex Kingston ,in "Moll Flanders", saying to the captain of the ship about to sail for the American colonies " Aren't you wanted on the bridge, or something ? ", and the recent "The Tudors", featuring what seems to be very un-Tudor-like music played on un-Tudor- period instruments, and the amazing sight,apparently,of tarmacced driveways and central-heating radiators !!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 11:50 AM

"Sadly, I missed it, but..."

Episode 1 is being repeated on BBC this coming Sunday. I didn't see Moll Flanders, but I agree there have been some pretty dreadful period dramas of late. Rest assured that episode 1 at least was head and shoulders above the execrable Lark Rise to Candleford.

I didn't see the Tudors either, but I did see a still with one H8's wives showing her legs off. No more need be said.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 12:27 PM

Sorry for causing trouble, which I didn't mean to - but Tess is one of the standard much-studied 19th-century classics and I thought its plot was well known by now. It never occurred to me I was giving anything away. They even summarise the plot on the back cover of the published book!

Still, I'd prefer not to have my paragraph deleted - if the elves really think it's necessary, perhaps someone could just add SPOILER ALERT in between it and the first one? Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 12:54 PM

I doubt if any contributor to Mudcat would really not know Tess's fate but I suspect huge numbers of the viewing public might not. A 'classic' is, after all, a book that everyone's heard of and no one has read!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM

But the viewing public is probably not reading this thread, so they're safe. I just thought earlier that people were joking!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 12:59 PM

So what do they do for A Level English these days? Harry Potter?


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 02:31 PM

Sorry but I really don't know what the point of concealing the ending is. This is not a cliff hanging suspense thriller. It is a study of misuse and abuse and of social machination. It concerns one fictional woman but Hardy doubtless intended it as an allegory for women generally. Understanding how the plot unfolds in fact enables the reader or viewer to grasp that much better the plight of Tess and the injustice of the social mores of the day.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 05:09 PM

There is a great deal of intellectual snobbery that goes along with this type of literature.
The beauty of it is that it can be appreciated and enjoyed at all levels.
I was introduced to many of the classics, by Norfolk singer Walter Pardon who had read Hardy, along with Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Mrs Gaskell, George Elliot... you name it He's read all of them at least half a dozen times, could discuss them at length and knew the characters and the plots as well as he knew his own garden. He read them, as did generations before him, because the thought them good stories. (weren't there queues of people anxious to learn the fate of Little Nell?) He once told us that the two greatest crimes in English literature were what happened to Tess and the drowning of of Maggie Tulliver.
Allegories they may well have been, but I have always been grateful to Walter for opening the door on many hours of sheer entertainment.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 06:53 PM

I do wish they would show the whole thing in one night. Don't care how long it takes, I just never manage to get to see the next episodes for various reasons.

sal


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: meself
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 07:26 PM

Maggie Tulliver drowns?! Thanks a lot!!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Sep 08 - 09:09 PM

Well, I didn't say I thought it was 'Gentle Maiden'; I said that it was; because that is what it was. There was never any doubt. Fred M needs to clean out his earphones.

'Silverton Polka'; thanks for that. Was I dreaming, or did Tess whistle 'The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze'?


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 17 Sep 08 - 09:51 PM

Haven't watched the programme yet (taped & waiting until all the episodes have aired - I hate the to-be-continued thing) but it appears that she did. There's some discussion of this in the BBC folk board, wherein "Darowyn" makes an interesting point about the fact that it was a music hall tune which Tess (unknowingly or not) says is an old country tune. Can't comment further until I see the show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio2/F2142825?thread=5881052


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 04:22 AM

"I noticed a concertina, a violin, and was a bit surprised by a clarinet."
No surprise, after the Napoleonic Wars were over, a lot of clarinets made their way around England and Europe. They were very popular and in many poorer villages, replaced the organ for sunday service.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 06:29 AM

Why the surprise over a clarinet ?

Try the dialogue in 'Under the Greenwood Tree' :

"Strings for ever !"

"Clar'nets was death !".

(Hardy's prose was spoilt for me ever since having to so "The Trumpet bloody Major" for O Level. Love his poetry, though.)


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 07:02 AM

I have just picked up again after being away for a couple of days but it might be interesting to know that Hardy's manuscript book only had his part written down in it, his fathers had another part and so on. Rarely would a whole tune book have all parts. When Dave Townsend was looking at the manuscripts many years ago he put all the parts together to reconstruct what they were actually playing. As for clarinets, yes they were around and well used at that time. I did my dissertation on the folk music in Hardy's novels many, many years ago and spent hours cross referencing all the references to songs, tunes, psalms etc for the appendix. The dissertation is in the attic somewhere. I might have to start rummaging!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: theleveller
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 08:01 AM

"I did my dissertation on the folk music in Hardy's novels"

I seem to remember an excellent version of 'Joan's Ale' but can't recall in which book.

Tess is one of my favourite novels - I even named my eldest daughter after her.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Cats
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 01:39 PM

Attic here I come!


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 02:09 PM

I read every single one of Hardy's novels(and short stories) as research for a programme I did for the BBC many moons ago.It was time well spent! I then had to put a band togther to play many of the tunes referred to.(I did use a clarinet, incidentally, but no serpent, alas, hadn't got one immediately available and the budget wasn't huge).
On relistening to the recordings we made back in the 70's, I feeel some of the phrasing was a bit semi-posh and semi-classical, which is the same criticism I make of the Mellstock's band approach in the TV show now,(in terms of theatrical appropriateness). With regard to LtS's remarks earlier, I am absolutely not suggesting the band should have played out of tune or incompetently. Just a bit more taproom and a bit less drawing room, so the "pagan ritual" remark and the rustic peasant setting would have ben more strongly reinforced.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: GUEST,LTS Pretending to work
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 07:26 AM

The 'Pagan ritual' remark was obviously a script writers addition because Hardy himself didn't make that statement in the book.

"They were very popular and in many poorer villages, replaced the organ for sunday service." - wrong way round. Yes, they were very popular, but there was great upset and many village feuds started when the church organ replaced them - an occurance well documented in 'Under the Greenwood Tree'.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 11:53 AM

For a good study of Hardy and folk song, see C M Jackson-Houlston, Ballads, Songs and Snatches: The Appropriation of Folk Song and Popular Culture in British Nineteenth-Century Realist Prose (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 1999), chapter 8 and appendix 2; and the article on which it was based, 'Thomas Hardy's Use of Traditional Song' in Nineteenth Century Literature, vol 44 no 3, December 1989, 301-334.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 10:53 PM

In many forums where I have participated, both general and specialized, including scholarly discussions, it is standard practice for the poster to alert readers when they plan to toss out the ending of the book, even if it is a classic. If a thread is discussing the whole thing, it is identified as such in the thread title. Some of the literature professors get a little ahead of themselves and assume others have read the book they're discussing, and inevitably someone else will come along and express disappointment at the end revealed.

If one picks up scholarly essays about books, one must assume that the entire work will be discussed, at length. Elsewhere, it is just good manners to not let the cat out of the bag.

SRS. MA, English, 1999.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 02:54 AM

True Stilly... true. It doesn't matter how classic the book is, there is always someone who hasn't read it.

I've read what must be a million books by now, but I've never even glanced at an Agatha Christie. All those books are unchartered territory for me....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 04:39 AM

Look, Stilly, I'm sorry, OK?? I've already apologised once. I've asked the elves to add "spoiler alert" before that para (I don't see the need to delete it if there's a warning attached). At least one published paperback lets the cat out of the bag on the outside back cover. Congratulations on your MA in English. Now can we please move on?


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 06:33 AM

Surely it ends like all Hardy novels? Tess gets happily married to the boy next year, has three children and bakes apple pies.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 06:40 AM

Naah, That's Nightmare on Elm Street. Tess *********,s and then ********,s before *******,s and finally *******,s.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 06:52 AM

And her husband gets a first at Christminster University, I forgot to mention.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 06:57 AM

Agree with Diane about reading and learning music by ear both being useful assets. Came up the "Always must have music in front of me" way, but then started going to classes where the favoured method is learning by ear, and I'm slowly getting better at it, and at improvising (eg when you get that nod from a singer to put in an instrumental break in their song).
As for music sounding "rough", think of Eiza Carthy's "Rough Music" CD: sounds like they're having an amazing "jam" together, but no hint of instruments or voices being out of tune or sloppy playing. Hard to define, but you know what it is when you hear it.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 07:03 AM

> And her husband gets a first at Christminster University, I forgot to mention.

Nope. That was Jude.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 07:12 AM

Ah, yes. Had Alex D'Urberville been subjected to a bout of Rough Music (a country community punishment for outrageous blokish behaviour), the ending of Tess might have been different, but a bit too much like The Mayor Of Casterbridge.

Yes, it IS hard to lay aside the crutch of having the music in front of you when you have a background of classical training. I still need to write down a tune before playing it. Learning to trust your ears is hard, but doable.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 08:15 AM

Sorry Bonnie that was a joke, Jude actually didn't get a first at Christminster....oh, never mind.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 08:31 AM

Yes, I know... and I know you know too... think we crossed some wires somewhere...


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 07:57 PM

It's not just the two of us discussing this here, Bonnie. Someone else brought up the topic in a way that begged clarification.

Tess and Jude were almost the end of his novel writing career. The outcry was apparently very strong against them.

His filmography shows that not everyone was upset by those stories.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 08:19 PM

Well it's clarified now. And Jude was the end of his novel writing career.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 01:03 AM

Jude was slated by the critics so much - they dubbed it 'Jude the Obscene' that Thomas Hardy vowed never again to write novels and thereafter stuck to poetry.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 04:15 AM

Public sensibilities were so incensed that in certain quarters the book had to be sold under the counter in a plain brown wrapper, hee hee hee (conjures up a Scarfe-cartoon image of old men in dirty raincoats sneaking up the alleyways furtively clutching their copies of Jude). Emma was outraged too, believing (no doubt accurately) that the novel's hellish depiction of marriage was a slur on her, as his wife. This can't have made the atmosphere at Maxgate any easier, but it was probably not a factor in Hardy's decision to cease writing novels. It was public opinion that mattered. By then he had pretty effectively isolated himself from her and seems not to have cared how she felt. Until she was safely dead, that is, and became only a memory, incapable of autonomous action and without a voice. (Apart from those devastating memoirs.) Then he sure changed his tune. Poor Florence.

Liz, in the "Heart of Thomas Hardy" thread you said An adopted grandfather of mine was a delivery boy and knew him. That's fascinating - I don't suppose he wrote down any recollections of this, did he? Emma's personal maid, who participated in the daily household routine, left a blistering portrayal of him. The accounts given by these firsthand observers - servants and delivery boys who were not movers and shakers in the literary scene and thus had no power over him - is very revealing.

Oh well, he liked cats. Couldn't be all bad. And I'll never stop reading his books, which will outlive us all.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 06:00 PM

I was speaking to Colin Dipper earlier today on a totally different matter and he put me onto watching the repeat of the first ep tonight. It's his band playing in the dance scene - in fact the serpent player is Colin himself.

He told me the dance was supposed to be the Dorset four hand reel, but the music was, of course, Brighton Camp. This was apparently because the choice of dance was down to the programme's choreographer. but she didn't know the dance as well as she thought she did, insisting that after each time through the men should end up in the middle. If you know the dance, you'll know this is wrong and you can't get the usual tune to fit the dance without severe mangling. So Colion and his band decided to play Brighton Camp instead as they thought they could do the requisite mangling more easily with that tune. Furthermore they were miming during the action, having recorded the tune earlier because the production only had one sound man. Finally during the dialogue bits no music was being played at all; both musicians and dancers were moving in total silence.

Of such things is greatness made ...

Chris


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 06:08 PM

I remember a conversation in about 1978 with a great aunt of mine up in Connecticut. She read voraciously, and in the last years of her life mostly it was Book of the Month Club stuff that was delivered to the house. I was up there visiting her one weekend and was reading one of Hardy's novels. She asked what I was reading, and I told her. She thought about it a minute and said "He's that English fellow, isn't he?" as if he was still around and writing. And then I realized that since she was born in 1890, he would have been alive still when she was a young adult. I was looking at his works as classics and Hardy a relic of another period, and she saw him as a contemporary.

It does interesting things to what you're reading when you have a little encounter like that.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 07:56 PM

In tonight's episode, Angel was playing an autoharp. A week ago at the Sweet Sunny South Old Time festival Mike Fenton had that particular autoharp with him. He told us he'd used it in the program and that it was an old one from the 1870s. He's a great player.
I didn't catch his name in the credits, but they zip past so fast these days.....
Ray


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 07:36 AM

None of the musicians get a credit just one who I assume to be the musical producer.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 10:25 AM

The only credit was 'Music - Ron (Rob or Roy) Lane.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 01:42 PM

I watched this the other day and wondered what the actresses imagined they were doing with the turnips while they were doing their 60's folk club singing.
Angel had a very cool long grey coat and tight trousers.Alkl quite odd, but very watchable.


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Subject: RE: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
From: GUEST,Melting snow
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 07:15 PM

Can I just ask, does anyone know who sings the tess version of 'oh the snow it melts the soonest' (the 2008 tess, just to clarify). I realise we only hear a few lines from the original singer, but I am dying to know who the singer was and can't find it anywhere!!! N/A: it's not Annie Briggs!


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