Carmel Media has recently published Carmel and Music by Simon Nolan O.Carm., Prior of Whitefriar Street. Simon holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, a master’s degree in spirituality, and is a diploma graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying the pipe organ in the class of Professor David Lee as well as the history and theory of music. Fr Simon has taught for over ten years in the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. As well as writing on philosophy, Carmelite spirituality, and music, Fr Simon has given recitals in Ireland and the United States.
Carmel and Music, by Fr Simon Nolan, O.Carm., is a valuable introduction to the musical heritage of the Carmelite Order. It provides a fascinating look at some of the Carmelites who have produced great music through the centuries, as well as composers who were influenced by Carmelites or Carmelite spirituality.
The book is dedicated to his late father Brian. Simon also pays tribute to all who encouraged him with the work, including the late Redemptus Valabek, O.Carm., who initially suggested that he write a series of articles on the subject for the periodical Carmel in the World.
From the Introduction:
“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.”
Carmel and Music is available from Carmelite Media web-store, click here (link to https://publications.carmelitemedia.org/products/carmel-and-music )