Dec 31, 2007

Minuit Chrériens

Because the general knowledge of the average redneck all around the world (here included) is always wrong, some great things that came to the world are indeed from France. The timing couldn't be more right to speak about one of the most famous Christmas music: Minuit, chrétiens!, by French composer Adolphe Adam. Never heard of it? Oh, of course you know it guys, it's not like I'm making this up. Hélas, you know the English translation of it, O holy night. Very bad translation I may had. One of those who loose the general concept of the whole stuff. The original version was written by Placide Cappeau, friend of a relatively unknown singer Mrs Laurey, who knew Adam back in 1840 when she sung in one of his operas, La Rose de Péronne. She sent the lyrics to Adam in the beginning of December 1847 and it took him only a few days to compose the music. Ironically, the piece was originally created to be played in a small church in the middle of Provence. It is now a worldwide athem. Even if there's little, in the English translation, of this incredible ferveur (another French word hard to translate), this total devotion to God, filled with admiration and love. Minuit chrétien, c'est l'heure solennelle Où l'homme Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous, Pour effacer la tache originelle Et de son père arrêter le courroux : Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance A cette nuit qui lui donne un sauveur Peuple, à genoux attends ta délivrance, Noël ! Noël ! Voici le Rédempteur ! Noël ! Noël ! Voici le Rédempteur ! De notre foi que la lumière ardente Nous guide tous au berceau de l'enfant Comme autrefois, une étoile brillante Y conduisit les chefs de l'Orient Le Roi des Rois naît dans une humble crèche, Puissants du jour fiers de votre grandeur, A votre orgueil c'est de là qu'un Dieu prêche, Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur ! Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur ! Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave, La terre est libre et le ciel est ouvert Il voit un frère ou n'était qu'un esclave L'amour unit ceux qu'enchaînait le fer, Qui lui dira notre reconnaissance ? C'est pour nous tous qu'il naît, qu'il souffre et meurt : Peuple, debout ! chante ta délivrance, Noël ! Noël ! chantons le Rédempteur ! Noël ! Noël ! chantons le Rédempteur ! I am not a believer in any God there is (or there isn't), but I admit I am deeply touched by the original words of Placide Cappeau. On the other hand of course, this is actually pretty close to religious fanatism. By the way, auguri a tutti, bonne année & happy new year. May 2008 bring you some fantastic musical emotions and discoveries. More on the matter: Well-documented page about the whole genesis of the piece in French here. YouTube extracts: young Roberto Alagna on French TV (in Dimanche Martin, a myth of French television), rehearsal of the Académie de musique de Paris (great baritone).

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