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Chantons Noel - Let's Sing of Christmas


Release Date: 05/07/1992 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 45641   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  TraditionalAnonymousCristóbal de MoralesNicolas Martin,   ... 
Performer:  Albert DemmiereFrançois Delor
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Liner Notes

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These carols from France reach back to the 15th century, often pairing secular text with liturgical melody and reflecting a living faith born of a people's deep love of the poetry and the beauty gazed upon in nature.

The earliest account of French Christmas Carols we have is by Etienne Pasquier, the 16th century French jurist: “Every evening during the Advent period, when I was young, virtually every family adhered to the practice, which developed into a ceremony, of singing carols that were spiritual songs written in honour of our Lord”. Although it is impossible to establish the origin of these Christmas carols with any certainty, it seems that they arose around the end of the 15th century, as one of the many items
Read more in the entertainments or pastoral comedies of the Nativity Mystery plays. At that time, Christmas carols were part of a tradition which was more popular than religious, hence the mixture of secular and religious elements in the Christmas carol texts. The words, however, were sung more often than not to liturgical melodies when they did not have their own original melody. It was only in the 16th century that carol music was to assimilate popular melodies. The great success of Chrismas carols in the 16th century was due primarily to their popular audience: great religious themes, the most common of which being the life of Jesus and of his mother, were being humanised in these carols which were composed by ordinary people for ordinary people. The many New Testament parables and stories, introduced by the church, were thus communicated to the majority of the population in a lively, accessible way via the medium of Christmas carols. And even if, due to the church’s acceptance of religious Christmas carols, some lighter carols were also accepted, it is, however, worth noting how quickly Christmas carols stabilised by mingling an often overcomplex theology with the poetry of popular songs and words. Everywhere in France, from Lorraine, from where Il est né le divin enfant originated, to Languedoc, which produced Les anges dans nos campagnes, Christmas carols became an essential feature of Christmas festivities, whether they were essentially religious or popular. The most revealing account, however, of the magic that Christmas carols have wielded down the years is probably the recollection that Chateaubriand described, in the early part of the 19th century, in the Génie du Christianisme: “Our Gallic hymns, the same carols sung by our forebears, also had their worth ; you could sense the innocence and the purity of faith they contained, When carrying out our tasks in the countryside, why did we feel moved when the ploughmen chanced to sing for salvation:
Let us all adore, 0 indescribable mystery, a hidden God, etc?
It was because there was a compelling note of sincerity and conviction in those country voices. The carols, which depicted rustic scenes, had a very graceful quality when sung by a peasant woman. When the noise of the spindle accompanied her songs, when the children listened spellbound, at her knees, to the story of the Baby Jesus and his crib, it would have been impossible, to find sweeter melodies and a religion more fitting for a mother”.

Christmas carols are therefore a way of expressing a living faith, a faith which is not born of thought or education, but, and this is exactly what gives it its poetical and sacred quality, one which simply comes from a spiritual love and a nation’s deep love of the poetry that it can sense within, of the beauty that it gazes upon in nature and of the generosity of a God that it recognises as its own. Nowadays, since Christmas has lost much of its theological nature and has become little more than an opportunity for straighforward rejoicing, these Christmas carols, pure expressions of the art produced by the poetical soul of the people, are the most beautiful way of re-discovering the intensity of faith, “Because it is truly, Lord, the best proof We can give of our dignity
That passionate sob which travels from age to age
And comes to die on the brink of your eternity !“


Jérôme Pélissier
Translated by Byword
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Works on This Recording

1.
Les anges dans nos campagnes by Traditional
Performer:  Albert Demmiere (Carillon)
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
2.
Les anges dans nos campagnes by Traditional
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: François Gevaert.
This selection is sung in Latin and French. 
3.
Entre le boeuf et l'ane gris by Anonymous
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: François Gevaert 
4.
Puer natus est nobis by Cristóbal de Morales
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1543; Italy 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Nowell, nowell by Anonymous
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: J. Bovet 
6.
Jeanneton du Vieux Testament by Nicolas Martin
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: André François Marescotti 
7.
Dors, mon enfant by Traditional
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: French 
8.
Mon Jésus, Doux Jésus by Traditional
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: P. Carraz 
9.
Petit Jésus est né by Traditional
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: M. Corboz 
10.
Pe ve la miné by Traditional
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: J. Bovet 
11.
Il est né, le divin enfant by Traditional
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection was harmonized by J. Samson. 
12.
La nuit de Noel by Noël de Debousset
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: French 
13.
Dors ma colombe by Traditional
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Arranged: P. Berthier 
14.
Dans une étable obscure by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: French 
15.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Performer:  François Delor (Organ)
Conductor:  Andre Corboz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  St. Pierre aux Liens, Bulle, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranged: G. de Lioncourt 

Featured Sound Samples

Entre le boeuf et l'âne gris (Anonymous)
Il est né, le divin enfant (Traditional)

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