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Noël Op. 43 no.1


La nuit descend du haut des cieux,
Le givre au toit suspend ses franges,
Et, dans les airs, le vol des anges
Éveille un bruit mystérieux.
L’étoile qui guidait les mages,
S’arrête enfin dans les nuages,
Et fait briller un nimbe d’or
Sur la chaumière où Jésus dort.
Alors, ouvrant ses yeux divins,
L’enfant couché dans l’humble crèche,
De son berceau de paille fraîche,
Sourit aux nobles pèlerins.
Eux, s’inclinant, lui disent: Sire,
Reçois l’encens, l’or et la myrrhe,
Et laisse-nous, ô doux Jésus,
Baiser le bout de tes pieds nus.
Comme eux, ô peuple, incline-toi,
Imite leur pieux exemple,
Car cette étable, c’est un temple,
Et cet enfant sera ton roi!


Night falls from the sky,
Frost hangs its fringes along the roofs.
And the flight of angels in the sky
Creates a mysterious sound.
The star that led the Magi
Stops at last in the clouds,
And casts a golden halo
Above the cottage where Jesus sleeps.
Then, opening His divine eyes,
From His crib of fresh hay
The Child, lying in the humble manger,
Smiles at the noble pilgrims.
They, bowing down, address Him: Sire,
Receive the incense, gold and myrrh,
And allow us, gentle Jesus,
To kiss the tips of your naked feet.
Bow down like them, O people,
Follow their devout example,
For this stable is a temple,
And this Child shall be your king.
Translations by Richard Stokes, from A French Song Companion (Oxford, 2000)

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​"Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style." (Wikipedia)

For more information about the life and work of Gabriel Fauré please see the Wikipedia article here.

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