About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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How a Priest Saved Thousands in WW2
published 14 November 2015 by Veronica Brandt

HE SCARLET AND THE BLACK stars Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. You’ll probably recognise Plummer from his role as the Captain in The Sound of Music. This time, instead of tearing up swastikas, he is proudly wearing them. The situation is grim and this is why this particular DVD stayed up on the shelf for so long in my house, until yesterday.

But now I am very glad to have watched it and to have been so caught up in the story as to be shouting at the screen towards the end – a really phenomenal ending.

It does contain Gregorian chant (some rather mournful alleluias – maybe underlying the paradox of the glories of martyrdom?), but much of the soundtrack really reveals the movie’s proximity to the 1970s. If you can bear with that, then you will enjoy the acting and the fact that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Pope Pius XII is portrayed maybe as well as he could have been at the time. His role in the war still being revealed today. There have been some more recent films about Pius XII. Maybe one of them will feature in our next movie night.