Ferenc Farkas

Sainte nuit

English Christmas song for 4-part mixed choir

French version from It came upon the midnight clear/Aldott éj for mixed choir

> this work exists on CD

Description: english 

> Audio sample : English version
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Durata: 1'30''
Text: in French translated by Roger Bornet
Publication: SympaphonieEditions Labatiaz

It came upon the midnight clear/Aldott éj choir
Sainte nuit for male choir
Christmas album for children's choir and piano or organ
Christmas album for voice and piano


The origin of this English carol goes back to the autumn of 1946 when Farkas went to work for two-and-a-half years in Székesfehérvár, a town 60 kilometres south-west of Budapest. During the period of reconstruction following the war he undertook to reorganise the musical life of the town. He established a music conservatoire, becoming its director, as well as conducting choirs and organising numerous concerts. In these circumstances there was a call for music which was easy to sing and attractive to performers and audiences.

In 1948 Farkas composed "It came upon the midnight clear/Sainte nuit"  and two French carols - Dans cette étable and Quittez pasteurs with Hungarian words by Károly Vargha. One third French carol, Je suis l’archange de Dieu, was probably written at the same time.

Decades afterwards these works were published with their original texts. Thanks to the fact that the composer's son András conducted male-voice choirs in Switzerland, Farkas arranged the three French pieces for male choir in 1975 and 1994.  

László Gombos