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O Holy Night

Digital Sheet Music

By Adolphe-Charles Adam

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TTB a cappella - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Adolphe-Charles Adam (1803-1856). Arranged by Timothy D. Hykes. Christian, Sacred, Christmas. 6 pages. Published by Charismeth Music (S0.264583).

Item Number: S0.264583

TTB a cappella. Lyrics by Placide Cappeau. Melody by Adolphe Adam. Translated by John Sullivan Dwight. Arranged by Timothy D. Hykes.

"O Holy Night" ("Cantique de Noel") has a rich history. In 1847, two months before the start of the French Revolution, a Catholic priest approached Placide Cappeau, a local poet and wine merchant, and incidentally a professed atheist, to write a poem for the upcoming Christmas service. Cappeau quickly wrote his poem and took it to his friend, composer Adolphe Adam, to write music for it. The resulting outpouring of peace and reverence must have stood in stark contrast to the political climate. "Cantique de Noel" fell out of favor in organized worship, but was popular among the people. In 1855, American writer John Sullivan Dwight, a Unitarian, discovered the song and translated it for American audiences during the abolitionist movement. It quickly gained popularity, especially in the North during the American Civil War. "O Holy Night" remains a staple of the Christmas season.

If the broad, stately pace of many popular recordings of this song lull you to sleep, this may be the arrangement for you. Including all three verses, a lively bass sets the stage while two tenors light the scene. The third verse sees the three vocal lines intertwined before ending together with strong chords. Approximately 4.5 min.

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