It’s the birthday of Emily Brontë (1818-1848), who is remembered — when she’s remembered at all — as the author of Wuthering Heights, her only novel. Not many know that she was also one of the finest English poets of the nineteenth century. Here is a choral setting by Ola Gjeilo of a fragment of one of her poems, “Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee.”
It’s the birthday of pianist and composer Ola Gjeilo, born in Norway in 1978. He earned his bachelor’s degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London and his master’s in composition from the Juilliard School. Here is his choral setting of a poem by Emily Brontë, performed by the Singing Statesmen at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Norwegian-born pianist and composer Ola Gjeilo wrote this hauntingly beautiful work for unaccompanied choir, and most of the time that’s how it’s performed. But on the day that the Central Washington University Chamber Choir recorded this performance, the composer himself happened to be in residence, and provided an improvised piano accompaniment.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one another.