Text[ edit ] The original text of the hymn has been from time to time attributed to various groups and individuals, including St. In modern English hymnals, the text is usually credited to John Francis Wade , whose name appears on the earliest printed versions. However, this is most likely an error of attribution. Wade, an English Catholic , lived in exile in France and made a living as a copyist of musical manuscripts which he found in libraries. He often signed his copies, possibly because his calligraphy was so beautiful that his clients requested this. In he published a printed compilation of his manuscript copies, Cantus Diversi pro Dominicis et Festis per annum.
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Permettez au signataire de ces lignes de rajouter un souvenir personnel. When it breaks forth at the close of midnight mass at the Basilica of Montmartre, there is no doubt that it is Christmes which has just been celebrated. Add to this the majestic carillon of the introduction, taken up again at the coda, and you will have this fine piece consisting of five contrasting variations Resolute, Pastorale, Lively, Peaceful, Brilliant , emphasizing that the descent of the Word, in defiance to our intelligence, is only appreciated by those who are humble at heart.
Allow the writer of these lines to add a personal recollection. Following the exuberant opening chords of the introduction, the hymn, slightly syncopated, is presented in a chordal harmonization with open fifths, using the mixtures, in alternation with triadic passages on the reeds. The introduction is then re-stated, and this marks the beginning of the four contrasted variations.
The first of these assigns the melody, in inversion, to the pedal with a rhythmic accompaniment. Arpeggiated arabesques outlining the melody, played on Flutes of 8, 4 and 2 foot pitch, highlight the next section, which leads into the lush third variation. The strings and soft foundation stops of the two organs again dialogue, the melody clearly soaring above accompanying cascading clusters.
The Choir Organ takes the first turn, with the melody alternating between manual and pedal, and the Grand Organ continues with the reprise. A final appearance of the introductory theme leads to the coda, march-like in character, in which the dialogue continues up to the last chord, where the organs sound together, triumphant.
Adeste Fideles (Wade, John Francis)
O Come, All Ye Faithful