Friday, December 19, 2008

Ah Quand Reviendras le Temps Bergere by Julien Tiersot

Dear Julien Tiersot,

It has been a bit difficult for me, in sparse free time to find out anything about you. says this, but Wikipedia's entry is in French (which I could barely parse and certainly not authoritatively).
b Bourgen-Bresse, 5 July 1857; d Paris, 10 Aug 1936). French musicologist and folklorist. A pupil of Massenet (composition) and Franck (organ) at the Paris conservatoire, he became head of the library there, president of the Société Française de Musicologie and active on behalf of early and contemporary music; meanwhile he wrote books on French Revolutionary music, on music in Molière's comedies and on Rousseau. His chief importance lies in his work as a folklorist, especially in the classic collection Mélodies populaires des provinces de France (10 vols., 1888-1928).
Still, this wonderful carol is the one I chose to represent, this advent week, the spirit of the shepherds. Oh, how beautiful it is.

Translation (I'm sure there is a better one out there, somewhere, but I couldn't find it.)

Ah! When will return the time, shepherdess
Ah! When will return the time?
Where, by one evening full of such a pure mystery
Upon slopes, woods, and fields,
In Bethlehem towards the thatched cottage
Came down from heaven an angel of light

Ah! When will return the time, shepherdess?
Ah! When will return the time?
What sweet harmonies echoed in the clear night
The voice in chorusand the instruments!
Were there ever on our earth,
More beautiful tunes
And a more beautiful sanctuary?

Ah! When will return the time, shepherdess?
Ah! When will return the time?
What hopes, what a sincere love filled our beating hearts?
How we ran, full of light mood
Through valleys and mounts
To see the Virgin Mother!

Sung by the choirs des Petit Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois

The good people at ScribD have posted this beautiful version of another of your works. Isn't technology wonderful.

You were best known as a folklorist, but this carol is magnifique!


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