Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Austenesque Melodies with Meredith Esparza

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, dear readers, my guest today. The lovely Meredith Esparza has agreed to share with us a little bit about herself and her love of music. She also shares an audio of her beautiful rendition of the theme song from the 1995 PnP miniseries! She does it proud! Although we have never personally met, I have long considered Meredith a dear friend and acquaintance. I am thrilled to have her here today. Thank you, Meredith!

Hello Readers of More Agreeably Engaged! 

I am honored to be here visiting Janet's lovely blog today!  Janet asked me awhile back if I would visit her blog and share a guest post with her readers, and one of the topics she suggested I write about is music.  Since I already wrote a guest post about discovering Jane Austen and finding my Mr. Bingley, I thought writing about music and Jane Austen would be a lot of fun!  As Mrs. Elton's would say “I am dotingly fond of music!”

As some of you may know, teaching music is how I earn my bread.  I've been teaching piano and flute lessons for the last seven years and currently run my own little music studio that employs several other music teachers.  Like Marianne Dashwood, much of my days are divided between “music and reading.”  If I'm not reading a book or writing a review, I can be found giving lessons, taking care of the paperwork and communications for our studio, or practicing on my beloved piano!



Speaking of practicing...I've recently come across 
some piano books with music from select Jane Austen movies, and have set myself the task of learning to play all of them as well as make recordings of each piece.  On my blog I'm calling this series Austenesque Melodies.  My first recording is “Stars and Butterflies” from the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice.  My second recording (you will hear in the video below) is “Main Theme” from the 1995 mini-series.  

I have always been a big fan of movie soundtracks, especially classical soundtracks and musical soundtracks.  The first Austenesque soundtrack I ever bought was the soundtrack for Emma (the one with Gwenyth and Jeremy). *sigh* I ADORE this soundtrack!  It is simply gorgeous, light, and the perfect reading music.  Since I play this album so often everyone in my family (including Mr. Bingley) have grown to love and appreciate it too.  If you are looking for some wonderful, relaxing music that makes you think of Jane Austen, I definitely recommend this soundtrack.  Some others in my collection include:


                     Sense and Sensibility 1995 film soundtrack – this one has some gorgeous music too
                     Pride and Prejudice 2005 film soundtrack – I love Dario Marianelli
                     Pride and Prejudice 1995 mini-series soundtrack
                     Mansfield Park 1999 film soundtrack
                     Bride and Prejudice 2005 film soundtrack – this one is soooo much fun!
                     Bridget Jones's Diary 2001 film soundtrack
                     Bridget Jones's Diary 2 2001 film soundtrack – they pick out really awesome tracks for these                BJD movies!
                     Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason 2005 film soundtrack

I'm curious to know if there are other readers out there who love the music from Jane Austen films and adaptations as much as I do.  Do you have any favorite Jane Austen soundtracks?  Are there any that you'd recommend?


Thank you so much Janet, for welcoming me to share a bit of myself on your wonderful blog today!  It was a pleasure and an honor to talk about two of my favorite subjects – Jane Austen and music!  I hope your readers enjoy our collaborated efforts on this video!  It was such a fun piece to play!

video

Please visit Meredith at her top notch blog (and one of my favorites), Austenesque Reviews

Thank you again, Meredith for being my guest and for making your lovely audio to go with my 2013 200th Anniversary Pride and Prejudice Calendar. You played beautifully and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your music added the much needed, final touch to my little video!

To one lucky person, Meredith is giving away the soundtrack to the 1996 movie, Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, OR  the soundtrack for the 1995 movie, Sense and Sensibility, with Emma Thompson, winner's choice! This giveaway is international. To be entered in the giveaway, please tell us your favorite Jane Austen soundtracks and any that you might recommend. We would love to hear your thoughts!  Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @.  Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, July 22.

32 comments:

  1. Excellently played, Meredith. I too am fond of the scores composed for the Jane Austen films. Besides the albums that have already been mentioned, I love the 2008 BBC Emma mini-series, Becoming Jane movie and Miss Austen Regrets. I cannot decide which is my favourite among the Jane Austen film/mini-series soundtracks as I love them all and listen to them when the mood suits.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Sylvia! I'll have to look into those albums - I've only seen the BBC Emma and Becoming Jane once, and never seen MAR so I'm not at all familiar with those soundtracks. :) Must check them out!

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  2. Loved your post, Meredith, and the "sound effects." I, too, love the soundtrack to the GP version of Emma. In fact, I used the song Emma sang at the piano in The Journey. it was a favorite of the highwayman (wink, wink).

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    1. Thank you, Jan! Haha! I love that song in Emma - unfortunately that one and Mr. Beveridge's Maggot isn't included on the album. I so wish they were! Nate has very good taste! ;)

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  3. I love the soundtracks too--so excited to watch the marathon on Ovation this past Sunday. I think my favorites are the 1995 mini series and 2005 movie of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

    dholcomb1 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. ps. Thanks for reminding me I need to pick up the dvd of the 2005 BJD I have on hold at the library.

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    2. That sounds like a fun Sunday! I love the BJD movies - so much fun! Can't wait for #3!!!!

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  4. Lovely rendition, Meredith, on the video - I will look forward to hearing more on Austenesque Melodies. I have always loved film sound tracks, some truly great music can be found in them. I have two Austen adaptation favorites - P&P 2005 (I also love Dario Marianelli, I think his work on this film was gorgeous) and Sense and Sensibility (Emma T version). I play both of these all the time at home and even at work (it helps with office stress levels!) I just set my iTunes on shuffle and repeat, and let it run. Biggest problem (especially at work) is that I end up stopping mentally all the time to close my eyes and relive the scenes that were playing out during certain musical pieces.

    I don't have the Emma soundtrack but, if I don't win it here, I will definitely put it on my list. Thanks for sharing your love of music and your accomplishments with us. Although I love music, I am not gifted myself in playing - and can't even claim that I'd have been a true proficient if I had ever learnt, because I was afforded chances to learn both piano and flute as a child and failed utterly at both, LOL. But as a result I can appreciate your talent and skill. (Any chance that Austenesque Melodies will someday feature a selection on flute?)

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    1. I played the flute when I was in band in junior high. I was not a proficient on the flute or the piano as I never practiced enough on either!

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  5. A fellow flautist! Awesome! I don't know if I will record any flute music. I'd maybe consider it if I found some sheet music :) I greatly enjoyed your comment, Tess! Thank you for sharing!! I love putting my Austenesque playist on shuffle! I have a couple non-Austenesque alubms mixed in like - Downton Abbey and A Midsummers Night Dream - two other faves! :) I could definitely see how it could take your mind off your work and into another direction!

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  6. Meredith and Janet, that was a lovely read! It must be so wonderful to be able to make music; I have always wished to learn to play the piano but so far it is still on my 'to do' list!

    I adore the soundtrack to the 2005 P&P. it is on constant play (about 8 of the tracks) and my family too has become accustomed to hearing it and loving it. It is my music to write to at all times.

    When we had our marriage blessed in church in 2006 we had The Secret Life of Daydreams played on piano whilst we had the moment of reflection. It makes me well up even to think about it.

    I adore Dario Marianelli's music.

    Thank you for the chance to win a giveaway!

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    1. I am so glad you popped in, Cassandra! Glad you enjoyed Meredith's post. It is lovely, isn't it! Her piano playing is excellent! I am impressed!

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    2. I love that you had Jane Austen music played at your wedding! I wish I would have thought of that! Of course, we did get married on the beach so no one would have heard it any way!

      Yes, Dario Marianelli is wonderful, isn't he? I hope you get the chance to play piano someday! :)

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  7. Hello, ladies! What a lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing! Meredith, your playing is so beautiful! I like how it is played while Janet's calendar is being displayed. What a great marketing too. :) Janet is so talented. :) I'm looking forward to seeing, and hearing, your other Austenesque Melodies to come! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    jakki36 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you, Jakki! It did fit perfect with the calendar didn't it! Meredith plays so beautifully and I was quite impressed with her post...very entertaining.

      Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Hi Jakki! I was very happy to collaborate with Janet on this project, I'm just sorry it took me so long to learn the piece! It took a lot more practicing then I anticipated! :) I hope to do more Austenesque Melodies soon - I'm having a lot of fun with them!

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  8. I have to say every time I hear the Pride and Prejudice song that Meredith played, I get a little giddy! I was 15 when the movie came out on tv and I recorded every episode. It was so excited to hear that song because soon I would be watching the next episode and be lost in their world.

    D. Rudy
    de_hall at hotmail dot com

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    1. I do too! I feel excited just listening to it. It is a nice world in which to be lost!

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    2. I know what you mean, D. Rudy! It makes me thinking of watching an episode of the mini-series. I can't tell you how many times I felt like doing just that after practicing! I'm long overdue to rewatch it all again! :)

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  9. I love the 2005 P&P soundtrack and also own the Emma soundtrack you mention. I love to play it in the background while reading Austenesque books! I also loved the music from the BBC Sense and Sensibility 2008 (with Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield), but I haven't found it on CD yet. I would love to win the soundtrack from Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility. I've seen it a really long time ago, so I can't remember the music, but I'm sure it is wonderful!
    arjanne.boneschanscher (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hello arjanne! I'll have to looking into your recommendation of the 2008 S&S soundtrack. I've only seen that film adaptation once and don't own it yet. I'm afraid I don't see the soundtrack on our amazon or itunes, which is a shame! :(

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  10. Oh wow--I wish I could play like that! I myself LOVE Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson), especially Father's Favorite and the beautiful song Kate Winslet sings when Colonel Brandon 1st sees Maryanne! Thank you for the giveaway! And it is very nice to find a new blog in the process...:)

    Cara carascarlet (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I'm so glad you found the blog, Cara! I hope you will visit often!

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    2. I love that piece too, Cara! It is definitely one I hope to record some day! That movie has some beautiful music too! I just love it!

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  11. Hello Janet,

    I suppose you have already chosen the eligible Austen fan for the giveaway. But I am here after visiting and commenting on Meredith's blog. I suppose I must content myself by being the "Mary Bennet" of the giveaway and "sit out this dance".

    But yes, I love the soundtracks for the BBC 1995, five hour mini series as well as the Kiera Knightley soundtrack. As far as the movie goes, I am partial to Colin Firth :)

    Just in case I end up being Jane Bennet, or even Charlotte Lucas, my email address is byanotherlady@gmail.com

    Sorry, but being anonymous is important in the blogging universe, for now.

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    1. I think you made it time! The giveaway winner hasn't been chosen yet! :) Isn't it so great how we can relive our favorite movies when we listen to the music!

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  12. Well after hearing Meredith, I'd say my fav. soundtrack is her rendition! What great fun this post was. And yes, sometimes I listen to music when I write! Writer.chensley(at)gmail.com

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    1. You are too kind, Cynthia!! I am greatly enjoying learning all these wonderful pieces! Such great music!!

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    2. So glad you stopped by, Cynthia! Didn't Meredith do a fantastic job! I love it!

      Good luck!

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  13. Anytime I hear any of the songs, it takes me back. And that is a very good thing! Great post! Thank you for the giveaway.
    cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net

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    1. I love thinking of Jane Austen's world throughout my day - listening to these soundtracks always helps me do that! :)

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  14. Meredith, it has been such a pleasure having you as my guest. Hasn't it been fun reading the thoughts that many of the readers shared with us? I have loved reading them.

    Thanks again. It was such an honor to have you visit and share your love of music and Jane Austen with us. Come back anytime.

    I will be looking forward to more of your lovely melodies!

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