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To: what_not2007
"O Holy Night" was written as "Cantique de Noelle" by Adolph Adam (accent on the 2nd syllable of both names), a French composer. His only surviving classical work is a rather insipid ballet, "Giselle", known best to fanatical ballet-ophiles and ignored by the rest of us classical music fanatics.

"Cantique de Noelle" has assured Adam a place in the Composers' Hall of Fame long after "Giselle" is (mercifully) forgotten.

"Cantique" was written for high voice (tenor or soprano) with organ accompaniment in the key of D-flat (5 flats). It was written for a professional voice, as the end makes clear. Adam expects the singer to hit a high A-flat and run down the D-flat scale legato to a high D-flat, not using the vocal shorthand of portamento. In other words, those notes should be clear and not slurred.

In church it works best with a soloist who has had some experience with opera. Unfortunately, when a congregation is asked to sing it, the result usually approaches low comedy. As a youth, I can remember more than one congregation falling flat on its vocal -- ahem, face -- when asked to sing that carol.

32 posted on 12/10/2007 11:23:22 AM PST by Publius (A = A)
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To: Publius
C'mon, my daughter adored Giselle when she was an itty-bitty - 3 or 4 years old. She asked for a long Romantic tutu just like Giselle's . . . and she could do the Mad Scene to perfection. Although when she collapsed at the end she did look sort of like Pete Rose sliding headfirst into second base . . . .

. . . and of course the Trocks have sent it up worse than anything we can do.

37 posted on 12/10/2007 11:28:59 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Publius

Interesting history of “O Holy Night/Cantique de Noelle.” Thank you very much.

I remember the ballet Giselle...fondly, actually. But then I was crazy about ballet in general.


39 posted on 12/10/2007 11:29:32 AM PST by hoe_cake
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To: Publius

This is my favorite rendition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFxG6-WSnI


109 posted on 12/10/2007 5:00:55 PM PST by hoppity
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