Friday, March 07, 2008

Non Nobis Dominie

I just finished studying/watching Kenneth Branaugh's Henry V with my seniors. We loved the story of a young king trying to do the right and honorable thing. We were particularly interested in his skills as a good king. Having studied Hamlet prior to this and noting how not to be a king (Claudius, who kills his brother, married his brothers wife, and plots to kill his nephew/step-son), we felt strongly that Henry V had a positive message to learn about leadership, Christian leadership at that.

The final act is especially moving when the English soldiers are gathering their dead from the battlefield at Agincourt. Henry orders that Non Nobis Dominie be sung, and a soloist begins the piece, but is soon joined by a whole chorus of soldiers. It's quite beautiful. My students, who love music anyway, and who are used to music being played in the classroom during tests and quiet reading and writing periods, begged to hear the soundtrack to Henry V this morning while they took their vocabulary test. Happily, I was able to oblige them. They were so excited! So, there they were taking their test, singing their hearts out as the wrote their answers. It was really beautiful...

Here's that penultimate scene of the play, along with the Non Nobis Dominie. See if you don't agree with my students and me about Henry's character, and about the music they all sang.

1 comment:

sunny said...

It is lovely.