Christchurch's Reverend Michael Cocks writes
On 2 December 2001 The New York Times had this obituary:-
“Rosemary Brown, who as a middle-aged widow living in a London suburb in the 1960's said she had been in contact with history's most illustrious composers, offering as evidence hundreds of piano miniatures that she said Beethoven, Bach and others had ''dictated'' to her, died on Nov. 16 in London.”
“Rosemary Isabel Dickeson was born in London in 1916. She claimed to have been only seven years old when she was first introduced to the world of dead musicians. She reported that a spirit with long white hair and a flowing black cassock appeared and told her he was a composer and would make her a famous musician one day. She did not know who he was until, about ten years later, she saw a picture of Franz Liszt . Many other members of Brown's family were allegedly psychic, including her parents and grandparents.
She worked for the Post Office from the age of 15. In 1948 she acquired a second-hand upright piano, and took some lessons for three years. In 1952 she married Charles Brown, a government scientist. They had a son and a daughter before her husband died in 1961.
Then in 1964 Liszt supposedly renewed contact and Brown began transcribing original compositions she said were dictated to her by great musicians of the past. Brown transcribed pieces from JJohannes Brahms, Johann Sebastian Bach, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg, Claude Debussy, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Liszt.
These included a 40-page sonata she attributed to Schubert, a Fantaisie-Impromptu in three movements she attributed to Chopin, 12 songs she attributed to Schubert, and two sonatas and two symphonies she attributed to Beethoven.
Brown claimed that each composer had his own way of dictating to her: Liszt controlled her hands for a few bars at a time, and then she wrote down the notes; Chopin told her the notes and pushed her hands on to the right keys; Schubert tried to sing his compositions; and Beethoven and Bach simply dictated the notes. She claimed the composers spoke to her in English.”
I have loved her music for several years, possess sheet music of several of the compositions, and have listened on YouTube to many of the music dictated through her.
On at least two occasions, the BBC led her to a piano, trained spotlights and cameras on her, and then bade her invite a composer in spirit to dictate a new composition.
Click on this YouTube video. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyEgYgy6OLQ ] You will see her writing with a pencil on blank music score, half laughing, saying, “Beethoven is telling me to hurry up.” One hour later, after first writing in the treble clef, and then in the base, she has finished. She attempts to play what she has written. It sounds good. Sounds like Beethoven. When a concert pianist tries, it is obviously Beethoven, and good Beethoeven lively, inspiring.
On another occasion Rosemary’s mentor Franz Liszt is dictating. Cameras, lights, on the go. She starts to argue with the spirit of Liszt. He wants one time signature for the right hand, and another for the left. “I wont be able to play that! What about another Hungarian rhapsody?”
Liszt insists that this piece will be convincing. Hours later, it is finished, and Rosemary cannot play it. A concert pianist tries. Great and inspiring it is. The piece is called “Grubelei” or “Pondering” Listen ! [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srsRnCF4VMw ]
Here is another piece dictated to her by Liszt: “Jesus walking on the Water” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdPQj4pXovQ ]
Rev Michael Cocks concludes - I encourage anyone interested to search YouTube for other compositions by Rosemary Brown. Michael Cocks says anyone may be enchanted.
He says, I believe that Christians should build phenomena like Rosemary Brown into our understanding of God and Spirit. “The Spirit bloweth where it listeth” and he says the Spirit of the Lord is not confined.
Reverend Michael Cocks is a retired Christchurch New Zealand Anglican Ministeron his 80's who has an interestin the Spirit of the Lord.