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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

The Music of Christmas: "It is the Night of our Dear Saviour's Birth"


One review of this carol said it “lacks of good musical taste, and has a total absence of the spirit of religion." 

I’ll bet that reviewer of over 100 years ago didn’t keep his job very long.

From Ace Collins’ book, "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas":

The strange and fascinating story of "O Holy Night" began in France, yet eventually made its way around the world. This seemingly simple song, inspired by a request from a clergyman, would not only become one of the most beloved anthems of all time, it would mark a technological revolution that would forever change the way people were introduced to music.

In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissionaire of wines in a small French town. Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Placide when his parish priest asked the commissionaire to pen a poem for Christmas mass. Nevertheless, the poet was honored to share his talents with the church.

In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France's capital city, Placide Cappeau considered the priest's request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present on the blessed night inspired him. By the time he arrived in Paris, "Cantique de Noel" had been completed.

Moved by his own work, Cappeau decided that his "Cantique de Noel" was not just a poem, but a song in need of a master musician's hand. Not musically inclined himself, the poet turned to one of his friends, Adolphe Charles Adams, for help.

The son of a well-known classical musician, Adolphe had studied in the Paris conservatoire. His talent and fame brought requests to write works for orchestras and ballets all over the world. Yet the lyrics that his friend Cappeau gave him must have challenged the composer in a fashion unlike anything he received from London, Berlin, or St. Petersburg.

As a man of Jewish ancestry, for Adolphe the words of "Cantique de Noel" represented a day he didn't celebrate and a man he did not view as the son of God. Nevertheless, Adams quickly went to work, attempting to marry an original score to Cappeau's beautiful words. Adams' finished work pleased both poet and priest. The song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Since that first rendition at a small Christmas mass in 1847, "O Holy Night" has been sung millions of times in churches in every corner of the world. And since the moment a handful of people first heard it played over the radio, the carol has gone on to become one of the entertainment industry's most recorded and played spiritual songs. This incredible work--requested by a forgotten parish priest, written by a poet who would later split from the church, given soaring music by a Jewish composer, and brought to Americans to serve as much as a tool to spotlight the sinful nature of slavery as tell the story of the birth of a Savior--has become one of the most beautiful, inspired pieces of music ever created.

Andy Williams closed his Branson Christmas shows with a very touching rendition of  “O Holy Night” that involves the audience in a special way.





1) The Music of Christmas: Jingle Bells

2) The Music of Christmas: "I am a fine musician"

3) The Music of Christmas: Mary's Boy Child

4) The Music of Christmas - Elvis Style

5) The Music of Christmas: Rudolph

6) The Music of Christmas: The Fat Man is watching

7)
The Music of Christmas: "Haul out the holly....."

8) The Music of Christmas: Judy Garland

9) The Music of Christmas: A partridge in a pear tree

10) The Music of Christmas: Disney-style

11) The Music of Christmas: "Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun"

12) The Music of Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

13) The Music of Christmas: Santa Baby

14) The Music of Christmas: The Best Ever?

15) The Music of Christmas....that has nothing to do with Christmas

16) The Music of Christmas: You're a Mean One

17) The Music of Christmas: Southern Gospel's Contribution

18) The Music of Christmas: "Soon It Will Be Christmas Day"

19) The Music of Christmas: And Heaven and Nature Sing

20) The Music of Christmas: "Come, they told me......."

21) The Music of Christmas: "If Only in my Dreams"

22) The Music of Christmas: "It is the Night of our Dear Saviour's Birth"

 

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