North & South in Franconia …

One month ago I involuntarily planted the idea in my viola teacher’s head of performing with me – as part of her music school’s contribution to the village’s summerparty – a viola-piano-duet of “I’ve seen hell” from the BBC’s miniseries “North & South“. You hear this piece while Margaret is writing to her friend in London about visiting John Thornton’s cotton mill, describing it like “I believe I’ve seen hell. It’s white. It’s snow white.”


I had looked for and found the sheet music for piano on the net (left) a while ago and transcribed it for viola (right). As you can see, I still need to write the numbers for my fingers on top of the notes – just in case of a total blackout while performing LOL … also I’m still struggling with the alto clef – as the only instruments I’ve played about 30 years ago were Melodica and piano which are both using the G clef …

Anyway, while listening to (my really poor performance of it back then) my teacher totally fell for it (haha) and suggested it should be my part of the performance…

Now tomorrow’s the big day and it feels a tiny bit unsettling. I will be performing 2 pieces together with the others (providing the only viola part, because the other viola backed out last week *sigh*) and then this duet with my teacher. It really is very motivating for me that she seems to trust me (aged 45 who only started learning to play the viola 6 months ago) of being capable to pull this off. I’m still not totally sure if this really was a good idea, but imagining playing/hearing this piece in the acoustic space of our beautiful 12th century fortified church is rather intriguing … so, wish me luck – I’ll get back to you, if the “Viola of Doom” and I were successfull 😉 … -> here.


St. Matthäus church … a real beauty of the “wanna-get-married-there” sort 😉 Pictures by “Aarp65” [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “North & South in Franconia …

  1. Sarah

    Jetzt muss ich mal granz dreist Fragen: Wo gibt es die Noten? Ich bin seit Jahren auf der Suche danach um sie auf der Klarinette spielen zu können.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah

        Vielen Dank.
        Ja das ist kein Problem, kann sein dass ich für ein B Instrument dann etwas umschreiben muss. ich frag mich ja immer noch wieso es keinen Kompletten Notensatz dazu gibt – ich würde gern mal den Northbound Train spielen

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Servetus

          There was never a separate soundtrack available of the music for the program, and every now and then individual tracks would pop up somewhere, fans would spread the links, and then the material would be removed after a copyright claim by the rightsholder. I’m guessing that the composer never wanted to give up the performance rights to the music (shrugs).


        2. Sarah

          Unfortunatley. I really adore this soundtrack because it’s so well composed and balanced. Not too romantic, a bit of drama but also very soft.
          Yes, and also understandable. But I always thought: it would be hilarious as a concert.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. frauvonelmdings

      As N&S was never broadcasted on german TV I highly doubt that 😉 … but yes, a random act of kindness – hadn’t thought about that – maybe because I’m convinced it’s still rather a torture for others to have to listen to me playing 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: North & South in Franconia … part 2 … The Viola of Doom feat. Jitterfinger | frau von elm-dings

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