Dramatic Vocalise Database




Newman, Alfred (1901–70)


The Song of Bernadette (1943)



The Song of Bernadette, based on the novel by Franz Werfel, is the story of Bernadette Soubirous (Jennifer Jones), an adolescent peasant girl who in 1858 had visions of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump of Lourdes, France. The townspeople believed it to be the Virgin Mary, leading local officials to try to suppress her and her followers for heresy. In the score, composed by Alfred Newman (1900–70), dramatic vocalization is used to heighten the significance of Bernadette’s visions. Each appearance of "The Lady" (Linda Darnell), as she is referred to in the film, is accompanied by dramatic vocalization to signify to the audience the numinous character of the vision, that it is in fact the Virgin Mary, although Bernadette never explicitly states this.

(Nauman 2009, 243)


Until his death, author Franz Werfel (1890–1945) was married to Alma Mahler, widow of Gustav Mahler. During their flight from the Nazis, they stopped at Lourdes, the French city in which Bernadette Soubirous lived and reportedly saw the Virgin Mary. He vowed to write a book about her if he and his wife escaped safely. The result was the novel The Song of Bernadette, which became an international success and a film classic.

Alfred Newman also wrote the score to The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Robe (1953) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).


Examples

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Bernadette Sees The Lady



Bernadette Sees The Lady Again



"Sancta Maria"



"Ave Maria"



"Sancta Maria"



"Ave Maria"



vocalization



vocalization



vocalization



vocalization



vocalization



vocalization



"Hallelujah" Finale

The same music is used at the end of the earlier Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), and at the end of the latter The Robe (1953).