woensdag 28 december 2016

Cantique de Noel / Minuit Chretien (1847) / O Holy Night (1855) / O Helga Natt (1899) / Kerstnacht (1921)

Placide Cappeau wrote the words to "Cantique de Noel" (or "O Holy Night") while on a train to Paris for a business trip.
Cappeau was a French poet and wine merchant living in Roquemaure, a small town in the south of France. He was well known as the man with one hand, having been shot by his friend in a childhood accident and had his right hand amputated.

At the beginning of 1843, Abbé Maurice Gilles, the parish priest of Roquemaure, the native village of Placide Cappeau, decided to restore the stained glass windows of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste collegiate church. Knowing Cappeau, he asked him to compose a Christmas song in order to celebrate the end of the work with dignity.At the same time, the Parisian engineer Pierre Laurey, who had been in charge since September 1842 to complete the construction of the suspension bridge over the Rhone designed by his colleague Marc Seguin, stayed in Roquemaure with his wife, Emily.
Emily Laurey, a former opera singer, is an intimate friend of Adolphe Adam's wife. It is Emily who solicits the collaboration of the famous musician Adolphe Adam for the setting in music of the poem of Placide Cappeau; She promised to interpret this "Cantique de Noël" in the collegiate church on December 25, 1843.
But in July 1843, Emily Laurey gives birth to a little girl named Adeline and her doctors advised her to cancel the trip to Roquemaure, as they will discourage her to do so the following years.On the 18th of October, 1846, at nine o'clock in the morning, the Abbe Gilles died; The abbot Eugene Nicolas Petitjean succeeded him at the head of the cure of Roquemaure the 10 of January of 1847.Finally, Emily Laurey will sing "Minuit Chretien" for the first time, on December 24, 1847, four years after the promise she had made to Adolphe Adam.

On the next link sheetmusic from 1852 (click on view)


In 1855, John Sullivan Dwight, a Unitarian minister, wrote the English version we are most familiar with as "O Holy Night". Dwight's version guts the political strength of Cappeau's lyrics. Only in the last verse, which is often omitted in performance, does Dwight stay close to the power of the French original:
 ...Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease....

O Holy Night - Wikipedia

The oldest version I found was recorded in London.

(c) J. Thomas (1899) (as "Minuit Chretien")
Recorded on January 20, 1899 in London
Released on Berliner's Gramophone 32321

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Listen here:


(c) Mr. Bru (1899) (as "Minuit Chretien")
Released on Berliner's Gramophone 32321 (matrix 3299)



And here's is a Swedish version from the same year

(o) Gustav Sjöberg (1899) (as "O Helga Natt")
Recorded on December 3/4, 1899 in Stockholm.
Released on Berliner 82589



Julsång: O helga natt | Svensk mediedatabas (SMDB)

Listen here:

(c) E. Francisco (=Emilio De Gogorza) (1900)
Recorded April 28, 190
Released on Berliner 01275.

Berliner matrix 01275. Cantique de Noel / E. Francisco [i.e., Emilio de Gorgorza] - Discography of American Historical Recordings

(c) Henri Dons (1902)
Recorded early 1902 in Paris
Matrix # 781F
Released on G&T # 2-32508

(c) Alexis Boyer (1902)  (as "Cantique de Noel")
Released on Pathe 1034

www.hervedavid.fr/francais/phono/tableaux pathe/Pathe 90 tours.htm

(c) Jean Noté (1902)  (as "Cantique de Noel")
Relaesed on Pathe 2711

www.hervedavid.fr/francais/phono/tableaux pathe/Pathe 90 tours.htm

(c) Max Bouvet (1904)  (as "Cantique de Noel")
Released on Pathe 2591.

www.hervedavid.fr/francais/phono/tableaux pathe/Pathe 90 tours.htm

(c) Rene Fournets (1901/1902)
Released on Pathe 3649

Listen here:

Pathé: 3649. “Noël” / Vocals by René-Antoine Fournets, de l'Opéra ; with piano accompaniment. | UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive

(c) Pol Plancon (1903)
Recorded December 23, 1903 in New York
Released on Victor 81023

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Also released on Monarch 81023

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Victor matrix B-871. Noël / Pol Plançon - Discography of American Historical Recordings

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(c) Jean Noté (1904)  (as "Noel (Minuit Chretien)")
Recorded in Paris in 1904
Released on Zonophone X-82466

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Listen here:


(c) George Alexander (1905)
Recorded September 1905 in New York
Released on Columbia A-237

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Columbia matrix 3269. Oh! Holy night / George Alexander - Discography of American Historical Recordings

Listen here:


(c) Betsy Schot (1906) (as "Weihnachtsgesang")
Recorded in Berlin
Matrix 1056-3
Released on Anker Records # 5600

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Listen here: media.slub-dresden.de/fon/snp/b/006903/fon_snp_b_006903_01.mp3

(c) Henri Albers (1906)
Henri Albers was a Dutchman, who lived in Paris most of the time.
Released on Pathe # 3527

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Albers Henri - Discography |

Listen here:

In 1907 he also sang it in Dutch

(c) Henri Albers (1907) (as "Kerstlied")

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Listen to a sample here:

(c) Evan Williams (1908)  (as "Christmas Song")
Recorded on August 28, 1908 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Gramophone Record # 3-2987

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Victor matrix B-6364. Cantique de Noël / Evan Williams - Discography of American Historical Recordings

Listen here:


(c) Evan Williams (1908)  (as "Holy Night")
Recorded on November 20, 1908 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Victor 64106

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Browse All Recordings | Holy night, Take 1 (1908-11-20) | National Jukebox LOC.gov

Victor matrix B-6610. Holy night / Evan Williams - Discography of American Historical Recordings

Listen here:

Noel in Russian 1913

Noël (Minuit, chrétien) (Гимн Рождеству), church canticle

(c) Albert Quesnel (1914)
Recorded January 1914 in New York
Released on Edison Amberol #2285

Cantique de Noël, ou, [Minuit, chrétiens] ou, [O holy night] - Public Domain Media Database

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Listen here:


(c) Thomas Chalmers (1914)  (as "O Holy Night")

Thomas Chalmers - O Holy Night / The Palms (Edison Disc) at Discogs

(c) Enrico Caruso sings "Cantique De Noël" (O Holy Night) Composed by Adolphe Adam
Recorded February 23, 1916 in Camden, New Jersey
Released on Victrola 88561 and Victrola 6029

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Enrico Caruso - Cantique De Noel (Holy Night) (Shellac) at Discogs

Victor matrix C-17218. Cantique de Noël / Enrico Caruso - Discography of American Historical Recordings

Listen here

https://ia801308.us.archive.org/29/items/CarusoCantiqueDeNoelOHolyNightAdam/Caruso - Cantique de Noel %28O Holy Night%29 %28Adam%29.MP3

(c) Frieda Hempel (1918)

Released on Edison Royal Purple Amberol #29040

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Listen here:


(c) Mlle. Calvet and Messieus Dutreix and Joachim Cerden.1919
Recorded October 31, 1919
Released on Gramophone W 350

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Listen here

www.artlyriquefr.fr/son/Gram W 350 - Dutreix Calvet Cerdan - Noel.mp3

Or here:

(c) Marek Weber Trio (1921)
Recorded September 20, 1921 in Berlin
Released on Parlophon P 1223

SLUB Mediathek


Listen here


(c) Albert Heineman (1921)  (as "Kerstnacht")

This Homochord 78-rpm, "Kerstnacht" a Dutch version of Adam's Noel, was recorded September 21st 1921.

(c) Andre Bauge (1926)
Recorded end 1925
Matrix 200135
Released on Pathe X-3312

ECMF (1918-1944) - Interprète : M. BAUGÉ (André)

Listen here:


(c) Georges Thill (1932)  (as "Noël")
Released on Columbia LFX 275
Matrix WLX 1633-1

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M. Georges Thill* - Noël / Agnus Dei (Shellac) at Discogs


Listen here:

(c) Tino Rossi (1939)
Released on Columbia BF 44

Tino Rossi - Discographie

Tino Rossi - Noël (Shellac) at Discogs

Listen here:

(c) Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (1950)

45cat - Fred Waring And His Pennsylvanians - Adeste Fideles (Oh, Come All Ye Faithful) / Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night) - Decca - USA - 9-23644

(c) Orioles (1950) )as "O Holy Night")

45cat - The Orioles - Oh Holy Night / The Lord's Prayer - Jubilee - USA - 45-5045

(c) Four Aces featuring Al Alberts (1955)

45cat - Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts - O Holy Night (Cantique De Noël) / Silent Night - Decca - USA - 9-29712

(c) Jerry Butler (1960)

45cat - Jerry Butler - Silent Night / O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel) - Vee Jay - USA - VJ 371

(c) Danny and the Juniors (1960)  (as "O Holy Night")

45cat - Danny And The Juniors - Candy Cane, Sugary Plum / O Holy Night - Swan - USA - 4064

(c) Bing Crosby (1962)

Vinyl Album - Bing Crosby - I Wish You A Merry Christmas - Warner Bros. - USA

(c) Jackie Wilson (1963)

45cat - Jackie Wilson - Silent Night / O Holy Night (Cantique De Noel) - Brunswick - USA - 55254

(c) Miracles (1963)

Vinyl Album - The Miracles - Christmas With The Miracles - Tamla - USA

(c) Bobby Vinton (1963)

45cat - Bobby Vinton - Songs Of Christmas - Epic - USA

(c) Petula Clark (1963)  (as "Minuit Chretien")

45cat - Petula Clark - Chante Noël - Vogue - France

(c) Billy Ward and his Dominoes (1965)

45cat - Billy Ward And His Dominoes - O Holy Night / What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - King - USA - 45-6016

Billy Ward And His Dominoes - O Holy Night / What Are You Doing New Year's Eve (Vinyl) at Discogs

Listen here

(c) Joan Baez (1966) (as "Cantique de Noel")

45cat - Joan Baez - The Little Drummer Boy / Cantique De Noel - Vanguard - USA - VRS-35046

(c) Mahalia Jackson (1968)

Vinyl Album - Mahalia Jackson - Christmas With Mahalia - Columbia - Canada

(c) Mireille Mathieu (1968)

Mireille Mathieu - Le Merveilleux Petit Monde De Mireille Mathieu Chante Noel (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs

(c) Edwin Hawkins Singers (1970)

45cat - The Edwin Hawkins Singers - Silent Night / O Holy Night - Buddah - Germany - 2011 054

(c) Nana Mouskouri (1972) (as "Minuit Chretien")

Vinyl Album - Nana Mouskouri - Christmas With Nana Mouskouri - Fontana - Netherlands

(c) John Denver (1975)

Vinyl Album - John Denver - Rocky Mountain Christmas - RCA Victor - USA

(c) Kenny Rogers (1981)

Vinyl Album - Kenny Rogers - Christmas - Liberty - USA

(c) Carpenters (1984)

Vinyl Album - Carpenters - An Old-Fashioned Christmas - A&M - USA

(c) Kitaro (1996)

Peace on Earth (Kitaro album) - Wikipedia

Kitaro - Peace On Earth (CD, Album) at Discogs

(c) Mariah Carey (1996)

Mariah Carey - O Holy Night (CD) at Discogs

(c) Celine Dion (1997)  (as "O Holy Night")

These Are Special Times - Wikipedia

Listen here

(c) Eric Cartman (1998) (in an episode of South Park)

Christmas Tree & Pie - Video Clip | South Park Studios

Chocolate Salty Balls - Wikipedia

Chef (4) - Chocolate Salty Balls (CD) at Discogs

(c) The Temptations (2001)

Best of Temptations Christmas - The Temptations | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

(c) Röyksopp (2010) ( as "Cantique de Noel")

Le Cantique de Noël by Röyksopp

Listen here:

Le Cantique de Noël by Röyksopp

More versions here:

Cover versions of Minuit, chrétiens written by Adolphe Charles Adam,Placide Cappeau | SecondHandSongs

The Originals © by Arnold Rypens


maandag 5 december 2016

Psalm 137 / By The Waters Of Babylon (1786) / What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July ? (1852) (1972) / Rivers Of Babylon (1970) / The Road To Babylon (1976)

Psalm 137  (Greek numbering: Psalm 136) is one of the best known of the Biblical psalms. Its opening lines, "By the rivers of Babylon..." (Septuagint: "By the waters of Babylon...") have been set to music on several occasions, most succesfully covered by German Disco group Boney M.

But long time before that the first 2 verses of  Psalm 137 were used for a musical setting in a round by English composer Philip Hayes

(c) Philip Hayes (1786)  (as "By The Waters Of Babylon")

It is one of the "Canons in the Unison" (for 4 vocals)
It is on page 105 of "The Muses Of Delight" (1786) by Philip Hayes

Here's the complete book


Don McLean covered the Philip Hayes setting as 'Babylon', which was the final track on his 1971 album American Pie.

In 1976 Manfred Mann's Earth Band incorporated the Philip Hayes setting in their composition "The Road To Babylon", on their album "The Roaring Silence".

Another cover of the Philip Hayes round was featured at the end of the episode Babylon during the first season (2007) of Mad Men.

In 1894 Czech composer Antonín Dvořák set verses 1-5 of Psalm 137 to music as #7 of  Biblical Songs (Op. 99).


Notable recordings in English include those by George Henschel and Paul Robeson.

In 1913 George Henschel recorded a version for the HMV-label
Recorded December 16, 1913
Released on His Master's Voice #02527 and D104


Search Results for GEORGE HENSCHEL

But here's a George Henschel recording from 1929
Recorded December 12, 1929 in London
Released on Columbia LB3

Listen here:

And here's Paul Robeson (sung in Czech) from 1961 in one of his latest recordings

Paul Robeson Discography

Another version of Psalm 137 was set to music by Charles T. Howell

(c) Reinald Werrenrath (1914)  "By the waters of Babylon"

Listen here

By the waters of Babylon, | National Jukebox LOC.gov

And here's a gospel-setting from the 1950's.

(c) The Gospel Clefs (1959) (as "By The Waters Of Babylon")

45cat - The Gospel Clefs - Open Our Eyes / By The Water Of Babylon - Savoy - USA - 45-4119

In 1969 reggae-group The Melodians wrote another version of Psalm 137, also adding one verse from Psalm 19. Their "new' interpretation was titled "Rivers Of Babylon"

Dowe and McNaughton used the first 4 verses of Psalm 137. and verse 14 of Psalm 19 ("Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight"),

But  the lyrics were not the only thing Dowe and McNaughton had "borrowed".
The melody bore a striking resemblance to the traditional "(Oh) Happy Day". 

Happy Day - Trinity Choir (1913)
Label: Victor 17499
Matrix B-13601.
Recorded July17, 1913 (Camden, New Jersey)

Listen here:

SEE ALSO: ----Joop's Musical Flowers: Happy Day (1913) / Oh Happy Day (1967)

And The Melodians "borrowed" the Psalm 19 ("Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight") words and melody from a very rare recording from 1962.
An unknown artist, produced by well-known ska producer Simeon L Smith, recorded a song called "Zion Oh Lord (Hola Zion)".

Unknown Artist [ Hola Zion( Fs 128) / Yes Or No(fs 127) ] [167656] Drum&Bass Records || Reggae,Ska,RockSteady,Roots,Dancehall,Calypso,Dub

Listen here (at 36 seconds)

(c) The Melodians (1970)  (as "Rivers Of Babylon")

The Melodians - Rivers Of Babylon (Vinyl) at Discogs

45cat - The Melodians - Rivers Of Babylon / Version - Beverley's - Jamaica - S.R. 138

Even before Boney M hit the big time with their version of  "Rivers Of Babylon", Linda Ronstadt recorded a version on the album "Hasten Down The Wind".

(c) Linda Ronstadt (1976)

Hasten Down the Wind - Wikipedia

(c) Boney M (1978)

Rivers of Babylon - Wikipedia

(c) Steve Earle (1995)

On his album  Train a Comin' - Wikipedia

(c) Sinead O'Connor (2007)

On her Theology (album) - Wikipedia

(c) Jimmy Cliff (live in New York)

More versions here:

The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - RIVERS OF BABYLON

And here:

Cover versions of Rivers of Babylon 

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an abolitionist, women's suffragist, author, and statesman who escaped from slavery to become one of the most powerful American orators of the 19th century.

In 1852 Frederick Douglass used Psalm 137 in his most important speech, commonly republished as "What to a slave is the 4th of July?" or "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?", an untitled speech originally given by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852.
He originally gave the speech to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y.
The speech is over 2,500 words long.

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” | Teaching American History

What to a slave is the 4th of July? - Wikipedia

In 1972, renowned actor Ossie Davis brought to sonic life several of Douglass's visionary writings, plying his resonant voice to produce riveting renditions of the Douglass classics "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July," "If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress," "A Plea for Freedom of Speech," and "Why I Became a Women's Rights Man.

Frederick Douglass' The Meaning of July 4 for the Negro | Smithsonian Folkways


On the next link you can listen to a sample of this reading (it is #117)

Smithsonian Folkways