New Urtext Edition based on original sources by Edward Blakeman
Saint-Saëns was twenty-three when he wrote his Oratorio de Noël and it has all the freshness of a young composer eager to prove himself. He had been organist of the fashionable Church of the Madeleine in Paris for just a year a prestigious position and the Oratorio was a major undertaking for his second Christmas there. The work was written in just twelve days between 4 and 15 December 1858.
Despite Saint-Saëns's efforts in overseeing the publication of the Oratorio, it had various mistakes and omissions.
This new edition attempts to correct these, and by close comparison with the various manuscript sources to present the work for the first time in a form as close to possible to Saint-Saëns's intentions.
Where there are still ambiguities, square brackets have been used to indicate alternative or uncertain readings in particular for the inclusion of extra details that somehow appeared in the printed edition after the preparation and correction of Saint-Saëns's final manuscript
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