Braille is an important component in many blind peoples’ lives, and some of those blind people are musicians.
In this programme, recorded in 2009, Lisette Wesseling explores Louis Braille’s adaptation of his six-dot reading and writing system for the blind to represent the language of music. Lisette passed away in 2016.
Braille awareness consultant for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, Lisette was also a soprano and studied voice in Auckland, Melbourne and London, with a special interest in early music – and she used Braille music. Lisette is joined by Stephen Bennett, Ken Joblin, Àine Kelly Costello, Moya Michalachis and Wendy Richards.
2009 was the bicentenary of the birth of Louis Braille and as well as celebrating this, Music in Braille marked the start of the 2009 New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s annual Blind Week appeal.
Blind musicians/composers’ names are in bold
fain ARR. LEE: You brought a new kind of love to me
Julian Lee (pno), jazz group (part of an interview with Les Andrews 15/07/75) (RNZ Sound Archives)
RODRIGO: Pastorale: Allegretto, from Concierto Madrigal (6) - Ricardo Gallén, Joaquín Clerch (gtrs), Asturias SO/Maximiano Valdés (Naxos 8.555842)
FRESCOBALDI: Madalena a la croce, from Primo Libro D'arie Musicale, No 6 - Lisette Wesseling (sop), James Tibbles (hschd) (RNZ)
VIERNE: Naïades, from Fantasy Pieces Op 55 - Winfried Bönig (org) (Motette MOT 50814)
LANGLAIS: Assez lent, from Five Pieces for flute & organ (1) - Bent Larsen (fl), Peter Langberg (org) (Classico CLASS CD 428)
BENNETT: Journeys - Stephen Bennett (pno) (Digital Flower CDJ 001)
VIERNE: Légende, from Two pieces for Viola & Piano - Odile Carracilly (vla), François Kerdoncuff (pno) (Timpani 2C 2098)
WILSON: You are born in us again - Rachel Gillon (vc), recorder player, Mike Wespel-Rose (vc, gtr) (NZ Hymnbook Trust)
CHOPIN: Scherzo No 2 Op31 - Bernard d’Ascoli (pno) (Musimuse 2009/2)
PORTER arr. LEE: Easy to Love - Julian Lee, Crombie Murdoch (pns), jazz group (part of an interview with Les Andrews 15/07/75) (RNZ)
Davis: You are my Sunshine - Ray Charles (vc & pno), backing group (Rhino R2 72859)
LANGAIS: Hommage à Louis Braille - Agnés Robert (sop), Jérôme Leboullengerr (pno) (Musimuse 2009/2)
LEGUAY: Madrigal VIII, from Two Pieces - Alain Huteau (perc) (Musimuse 2009/2)
VIERNE: Ave Maria - Choir of Westminster Cathedral/James O’Donnell, Joseph Cullen (org) (Hyperion CDA 66898)
RODRIGO: Lento, from Hymns of the Neophytes Qurán (2) - Jaime Martin (fls), soloists from Exeter Philharmonic Choir/Raymond Calcraft (EMI 557117)
CHOPIN: Nocturne No 17 in B major Op 62/1 - Bernard d’Ascoli (pno) (Athene 23201)