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L'Enfance du Christ

By Hector Berlioz

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L'Enfance du Christ (Trilogie sacree). Composed by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869). Edited by Paul Prevost. For STBarB vocal soli, SATB choir, 2 flutes, 2 english horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 4 trumpets 3 trombones, timpani, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, contrabass, organ. This edition: Paperbound. E-Moll (E minor). French Sacred Music. German title: L'Enfance du Christ. Oratorios, Christmas. Level 3. Full score. Language: German/French. Op. 25. 336 pages. Duration 95 minutes. Published by Carus Verlag (CA.7003800).

ISBN M-007-08686-2. With Language: German/French. Oratorios, Christmas.

The history of the composition of the oratorio is odd: the kernel of this three-part work were the movements from the middle section, the "Flight to Egypt," which Berlioz composed on a whim in 1850 and which he passed off as the work of a baroque composer whose existence he himself had invented. In 1854 the triptych, which was completed with the parts entitled "The dream of Herodes" and "The arrival at Sais," had its celebrated first performance. Starting from the Gospel of St. Matthew, with the visit of the astrologer to Herodes and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, Berlioz chose to relate the story of the events of Christmas from another angle, other than as it is almost always depicted, after the Gospel of Luke. This skillful dramatisation, with impressive instrumental sections, such as the independent trio for two flutes and harp as well as the effective choruses with local color, make this "sacred trilogy" a genuine alternative for performance at Christmas time. The score, published in 1855, contained a second singing text in German which had been translated from the French by Peter Cornelius. The critical edition by Carus presents a new translation by Klaus Kreuser which, as opposed to the text by Cornelius, adheres more closely to the French original and avoids becoming an embellished idyll.

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