Music Monday- The Surprise Symphony

I ran across this symphony while doing some research for music which would have been new during Darcy’s early childhood in my upcoming release The Secrets of Pemberley. Its composed by Joseph Haydn, who I personally prefer over Bach and Mozart and think is entirely underrated. It’s also known as Symphony No. 94 in G Major and was one of twelve written in London in 1791. It was first performed in the Hanover Square Rooms in 1792 and Haydn sat at the pianoforte. The classical era orchestra consisted of  flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, timpani,  violins, violas, cellos, and double basses and lasts about 23 minutes in its entirety. 

Haydn wrote many jokes into his works and this piece earns its nickname due to the sudden loud (fortissimo) chord at the ending of an otherwise quiet (piano) movement. He was said to have wanted to give the audience something they had not heard before. They instantly cried for an encore. 

Here is a brief excerpt of The Secrets of Pemberley. Darcy is in a music shop and reminded of a memory with his mother.

He wandered around the store. A memory flickered through his mind. He was only seven years old and in the small Scottish cottage with his mother. She had been reading the London newspapers and had received a letter from a friend about a concert she attended. His mother wept over not being able to attend the hailed genius of Joseph Haydn. She was told The Surprise was sublime and ordered sheet music. There was no pianoforte in the cottage but the rector had one. Lady Anne diligently practiced so often Darcy could hum the tune. As a child, he particularly enjoyed the sudden changes in volume. Seeing the others occupied, Darcy found a copy and ran his fingers over it.


What did you think of it? Did it surprise you?

Music Monday- Marry Me

This is one of those songs where the very first time I hard it, I started to get ideas for a story. I’ve recently watched the music video for the first time and got a totally different sort of plot bunny for it. For one, I imagine a man drowning his sorrows in in a library at the wedding breakfast when a bluestocking walks in and they’re found in a compromising position. You know I love those forced marriage stories! For the other, the heroine looks like she’s going to marry someone else and at the last minute ends up with the hero–the boy next door. I know they sound pretty basic right now…but just wait. I hope you enjoy and have a great Monday!

Music Monday- A Postcard to Henry Purcell

Frequently while writing, I will listen to the soundtrack of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I adore it! I also recently bought the sheet music to the soundtrack so I can muddle my way through some passages with my own inventive sense of rhythm. Maybe one day I’ll take formal piano classes.

A few years ago while editing Letters from the Heart, a beta had commented that she thought Elizabeth and Jane would refer to men only as Mr. __. I spent a great deal of time looking through Pride and Prejudice to discover that Elizabeth and Jane frequently dropped the Mr. once they knew a gentleman well–the same way that Kitty and Lydia did. In consulting other Austen books and works of the time, I became convinced there was not an impropriety in doing so when not speaking to his face. Hence, it was different than Caroline Bingley calling Elizabeth by the pet name Eliza. I imagine it’s the way we might call the leader of a country by his or her surname amongst our friends but if we ever encountered the person we would use a formal address.

I also discovered something most interesting. Elizabeth’s usage of Darcy vs. Mr. Darcy reminded me of a dance. They would seem to understand one another a little better and she called him Darcy in conversation to others. Then, they would have another misunderstanding and suddenly he was MR. Darcy again. There was such a push-pull effect about it.

Around this time I was falling in love with the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and I think the song during the Netherfield ball, A Postcard to Henry Purcell, along with the choreography of the dance, perfectly captures the back and forth that is Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship.

Henry Purcell was a baroque composer and lived 1659-1695. The piece on the soundtrack is a nod at his style of composing. And yes, I know baroque would have been terribly out of fashion by the Regency period. However, all adaptations make this error. The only one I have seen which does not is the 2009 Emma. Instead, it includes an original number of “Jenny’s Market.”

Despite it not being period correct, I think the music serves the film brilliantly in this scene and applaud Dario Marianelli for his fantastic score.

Music Monday- Make You Miss Me

Later this week, I will pack up my home in North Carolina and move to my home town in Virginia. I’ve lived in three different states, driven across country twice, and visited China. I have to say, I have mixed feelings about leaving this area. We didn’t get to meet a lot of people but everyone we did meet was so friendly. There’s just more southern hospitality here. And our house is HUGE and in a low cost of living area. I was really trying to put down roots since we were told it would be a two to three year move. However, I do love the Shenandoah Valley. There’s no place like it on earth. Trust me, I’ve seen a fair bit of it. And the people are nearly as friendly and kind as small town North Carolina, in addition to family and friends who reside there. Still…I’m going to miss it here so this song seems appropriate.

Music Monday!

For 2018, I thought I’d shake things up some and swap out Motivational Monday for Music Monday. I snatched the idea from my good friend and awesomesauce author Leenie Brown. Read all about her amazing books and blog posts here:

In college, I worked at a classical radio station. Antonin Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was one of my all time favorites. Despite currently living in North Carolina (to change soon!) we got a few inches of snow last week and had below freezing temperatures. The result was snow and ice remaining for days and days as there were insufficient snow plows and salt in addition to the lack of heat. It reminded me of when I lived in Alaska, actually! Thankfully, we are now back to normal temps for the area and the snow is melting away, kids are back in school, and roads are returning to normal.

For your listening pleasure, “Winter” from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi.