|Title||L'Adieu des Bergers, from "L'Enfance du Christ"|
|Performers||The Little orchestral Society
The Choral Art Society
Mary Davenport (contralto) / Martial Singher (Baritone)
Leopold Simoneau (Tenor) / Donald Gramm (bass)
|Record no.||SL 199|
|Matrix no.||ML 4875|
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In a letter to the English violinist John Ella (1802-1888), Hector Berlioz explains why the music for "La Fuite En Egypte” ("the flight to Egypt" – which formed part 2 of "L’Enfance du Christ") was attributed to ”Pierre Ducré, fictitious kapellmeister”. Berlioz explains that in 1850 he was visiting the home of the "Baron de M***" together with his fellow student, the architect Joseph-Louis Duc. The others were playing cards, a pastime that bored Berlioz: "with great patience and after 30 years' work I have now arrived at a point at which I cannot play a single card game”. Since Berlioz's bordeom was so evident, Duc suggested: "Since you're not doing anything, perhaps you would write a piece of music for my album”. Berlioz began to write an andantino for organ. After a while Berlioz felt that the music had a certain naive and mystical quality and he had the idea that he should add a text. The organ music was turned into a choir of shpherds who sang farewell to the baby Jesus as the family set off for Egypt.
The music was performed later the same year as "Adieu des bergers à la Sainte Famille" in a concert with the Société Philharmonique, attributed to "Pierre Ducré, kapellmeister at Sainte Chapelle, 1679." By the end of 1850, Berlioz had also composed the overture and a concluding tenor solo, under the title “La Fuite en Égypte”. The work was published in 1852, "attribué à Pierre Ducré, Maître de Chapelle imaginaire, et composé par Hector Berlioz." After a performance in Leipzig the following year was well received, Berlioz wrote in 1854 the two other sections of his "trilogie sacrée, L'Enfance du Christ".
The present performance, with The Choral Art Society and The little Orchestra Society (dir. Thomas Scherman), was published by Columbia in 1953.
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