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Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich

Artful Codger 12 Dec 11 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Dec 11 - 10:03 AM
Artful Codger 19 Dec 11 - 04:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Dec 11 - 11:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Dec 11 - 07:56 PM
Artful Codger 21 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 11 - 02:41 PM
Artful Codger 21 Dec 11 - 04:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 11 - 04:41 PM
Artful Codger 21 Dec 11 - 06:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM
Artful Codger 21 Dec 11 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Dec 11 - 12:58 PM
Artful Codger 22 Dec 11 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Dec 11 - 06:24 PM
Artful Codger 23 Dec 11 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Grishka 23 Dec 11 - 04:53 PM
leeneia 21 Nov 16 - 06:43 PM
Joe Offer 22 Nov 16 - 02:06 AM
leeneia 22 Nov 16 - 10:34 PM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 16 - 11:43 PM
leeneia 24 Nov 16 - 02:31 PM
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Subject: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 01:36 AM

Here's a gentle Christmas carol from Germany which caught my attention recently from a solo piano rendition that B.S. of Frankfurt posted to YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiPrxVAisrE
YouTube also has an organ rendition (the second piece in the clip):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5trSvaLKBjM


HEIL'GE NACHT, ICH GRÜßE DICH
   (Holy night, I greet you)
   Text: Wilhelm Osterwald (1820-1887)
   Music: Johann Wolfgang Franck (1641-1690), 1681

Heil'ge Nacht, ich grüße dich, die den Tag geboren,
den zu schau'n - o Lust! - auch ich ward durch Gott erkoren.
Alles Seufzen, alles Bangen lindert nun dein sel'ges Prangen,
deines Segens freu ich mich, Heil'ge Nacht, ich grüße dich!

Deines Lichtes milder Strahl, der den Tod zerstreuet,
und das Leben allzumal wunderbar erneuet,
o wie selig, o wie reine dringt in mich mit hellem Scheine
und verscheucht die dunkle Qual deines Lichtes milder Strahl!


I'd post a literal translation, but a few spots have given me trouble. If you're a native speaker who'd help proof my feeble attempt, PM me and I'll send what I've come up with.

ABC transcription of the melody:
X:1
T:Heil'ge Nacht, ich gr\"u\sse dich
%%writehistory 1
C:Text: Wilhelm Osterwald (1820-1887)
C:Music: Johann Wolfgang Franck (1641-1690), 1681
S:Melody transcribed from a piano solo played by "B.S." in Frankfurt, Germany
S:(bsfrankfurt on YouTube).
M:C
L:1/4
Q:1/4=84
K:G
GBA>B | c/B/ c/d/B2 | G>F E/F/G | (A>G)G>z |
w: 1.~Heil'-ge Nacht, ich grü--ße_ dich, die den Tag_ ge-bo--ren,
w:2.~Dei-nes Lich-tes mil--der_ Strahl, der den Tod_ zer-streu--et,
GBA>B | c/B/ c/d/B2 | G>F E/F/G | (A>G)G>z |
w: den zu schau'n~\-\- o Lust!~\-\-_ auch_ ich ward durch Gott_ er-ko--ren.
w: und das Le-ben all--zu--mal wun-der-bar_ er-neu--et,
BA/G/A>B | GF/E/FD | Ad/^c/ B/A/ G/F/ | E>FED |
w: Al-les_ Seuf-zen, al-les_ Ban-gen lin-dert_ nun_ dein_ sel'-ges Pran-gen,
w: o wie_ se-lig, o wie_ rei-ne dringt in_ mich_ mit_ hel-lem Schei-ne
ABGc | B>AA>z | BBBB/A/ | A>GG>z |
w: dei-nes Se-gens freu ich mich, Heil'-ge Nacht, ich_ grü-ße dich!
w: und ver-scheucht die dun-kle Qual dei-nes Lich-tes_ mil-der Strahl!
%
%%leftmargin 2.25in
%%begintext

1. Heil'ge Nacht, ich grüße dich, die den Tag geboren,
den zu schau'n - o Lust! - auch ich ward durch Gott erkoren.
Alles Seufzen, alles Bangen lindert nun dein sel'ges Prangen,
deines Segens freu ich mich, Heil'ge Nacht, ich grüße dich!

2. Deines Lichtes milder Strahl, der den Tod zerstreuet,
und das Leben allzumal wunderbar erneuet,
o wie selig, o wie reine dringt in mich mit hellem Scheine
und verscheucht die dunkle Qual deines Lichtes milder Strahl!
%%endtext
%%leftmargin 1in
%%vskip .25in

To generate a MIDI or PDF, feed the above into the folkinfo.org ABC Converter. It can also transpose the tune for you.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 10:03 AM

Thanks very much, Artful! We'll be playing this soon, both because it's a Christmas song and because it's early music - 1681.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 Dec 11 - 04:55 PM

[refresh]


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM

Found a third verse:
Heil'ge Nacht, ich grüße dich

Jesu Christ, dein reines Licht
Leuchte meinen Schritten,
Bis mein sterblich Auge bricht,
Bis ich ausgelitten
Und in ewger Weihnachtswonne
Schauen darf der Sonne Sonnen Mit verkläretem Gesicht,
Jesu Christ, dein reines Licht.

From "Kirchengesangbuch der Provinz Sachsen-Anhalt, 1931, song 367, Kapitel Weihnachten."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51243943@N00/3132322623/


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Dec 11 - 11:11 AM

thank you, Q.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Dec 11 - 07:56 PM

First verse, literal, needs help. I will try the second verse later.

Holy Night, I Hail You !

Holy night, I hail thee, born the day.
Behold, Oh joy! I was chosen by God.
Everything sighs, all anxieties now relieved,
all is blissfully revealed
I look for your blessing
Holy night, I hail you.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM

It's the first two lines of the first verse that confuse me. Here's what I came up with:
[This] Holy night, I greet you, [you who was] born [in] the day
to be beheld - oh joy! - I also was chosen by God.
Your blissful splendor allays all sighs, all fears,
I delight in your blessing; holy night, I greet you!

The gentle ray of your light that dispels death
and renews Life altogether wonderfully,
O how blessedly, how purely it permeates me with bright radiance
and drives away the dark torment; the gentle ray of your light.
I haven't worked on the third verse.

I interpret the night as being a metaphor for God the unseen and ineffable, who has given birth to the visible "day" (Jesus Christ), thus issuing in a new spiritual age. So the night can indeed have it's "gentle ray", in contrast to the mundane night. But given that my translation could be wildly wrong, don't place much weight on my somewhat fanciful interpretation.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 02:41 PM

Very good.
2nd verse, last line, I would invert.
I would use pierce rather than permeate, but this is a matter of choice; and banishes rather than dispels.
Wunder(bar) has the definition miraculous, and I would use that sense here. I would leave the allzumal as understood.

2
The sweet ray of your light banishes death
and miraculously renews life
O how blessedly and purely it pierces me with sweet radiance
and the sweet gleam of your light banishes dark torment.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 04:11 PM

The inversion I think is a mistake, if one wishes to stay close to the original grammar and mode of expression, since the subject is the sweet ray from the first line; thus it would not pierce with its sweet gleam (i.e. itself)--nor, as I read it, is instrumentality expressed by the German case, word order or a preposition. That's why I placed the final phrase after a semicolon: it's just a repetition of the subject, following the verse pattern established in the first verse. The third verse does this, too: the final phrase bears no direct grammatical tie to what comes immediately before.

Yes, "miraculously"--before the noun and without other intensification, is a better way to put it. As for permeate/pierce, I think the German verb has more a sense of imbuing, particularly here, where gentleness is a key concept.

[Now I'm just waiting for a native speaker to pipe up and say, "Jane, you ignorant slut...."]

By the way, seconding leeneia, thanks for finding that third verse.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 04:41 PM

Inversion was necessary to produce sense (to English-speakers) of some sentences in scientific German, which is the only branch of the language I studied.
I wish I had some experience of spoken or vernacular German, and I find I am sometimes (often?) at a loss wirh German poetry, which often leaves some thoughts understated or left 'understood'.

Digressing, I have translations of some of Bach's secular cantatas, which used expressions from the peasants who were subject of some of them. Some words and expressions have been lost to linguists and had to be guessed at or skipped over by the translator.

Yep, need Wolfgang here.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 06:06 PM

Here's what I came up with for the third verse:

3. Jesus Christ, your pure light lights my way   [lit. steps]
until my mortal eye will cease to function,   [lit. breaks]
   until I, my sufferings over
and in eternal Christmas bliss, may appear to [i.e. before] the sun of suns
with a glorified face*; Jesus Christ, your pure light.

* Gesicht can also mean aspect or vision, which suits the context here.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM

glorified face- I have seen this in some gospel songs as "my face in glory" or "my body in glory"- Someone knowledgeable in Christian ideas may be able to state it more succinctly. I think they mean the body or visage has developed a halo or luminiscence upon admission to "glory."


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 08:19 PM

Yep, that sounds better; the "glorified face" doesn't sit right with me--especially since I'm not sure whether it's the speaker's face or God's! And the English word "glorified" carries an uncomfortable secondary meaning (puffed up, likely sham).


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 12:58 PM

This is a lovely melody which deserves wider playing. Get out the flute, get out the guitar! Here are the chords as I've worked them out. Each line is a measure of 4/4 time.

> means there is dissonance, so play the chord softly.   

- means play the same chord again.


G-D-
C-G-
Em---
D-G-
(now repeat the above)
G-D-
Em-D-
Em-D-
D>G-
A-D-
DGC-
G-D-
GGG>
D-G-

I'm going to send a MIDI of the melody to Joe.

Artful, it was SO wonderful of you to make that abc. I know how much time that can take. However, when I ran it through the Tune-o-tron, there were problems with note times, so I have regularized them for future generations.

With luck, Joe will have time this busy season to post my MIDI.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 03:43 PM

The Concertina.net Tune-o-tron is a faulty converter. I strongly recommend switching over to the folkinfo.org ABC Converter--which is much fuller-featured and also produces much better scores. With the latter converter, there are no note irregularities--and unlike the Tune-o-tron, it won't munge chords like simple dominant 7ths!

For chords, this is what I come up with:

|: G . D . | C D7 G . | G . C G | Am D7* G . :| see [1]
G Em D . | Em A D . | D . G . | A (A7) D* . | see [2]
D Bm Em C | Em A7 D . | G Em Em/B C | D7 . G . |]

[1] or D9 / Am+4
[2] or C/D D; in the first chord, the dissonant note is a suspended 4th.

I've been trying to work this into the ABC, but first I have to find out if I can used a "decorations" line to put chords where there are no notes (like on the beat between a dotted note pair) and how I can alter the strum pattern to solid chords, instead of alternating bass and chord. In a pinch, I could write an explicit guitar part, but not today.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 06:24 PM

I think the first two lines mean

"Holy night, I hail you, which has born that day,
which to behold - oh joy! - I also was chosen by God!"

And verse 3:

"Jesus Christ, may your pure light shine for my steps ...".


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 02:02 AM

I don't quite follow your translation, but you've got a good point in linking the confusing bit to the purpose for which "I was chosen".

Do you mean this?: "Holy Night, I greet you, you who gave birth that day to one whom (oh joy!) I was chosen by God to behold!" If so, I would revise the middle bit to: ...who gave birth to the Day, whom... Either interpretation hinges on the auxilliary verb (hat) of the first dependent clause being elided--quite possible. The feminine correlative clinches that, unlike in my first translation, the night/God is being addressed, not the day/Christ. But that just doesn't fit with all the "ray/radiance/gleam" business; or maybe I'm just too literal-minded to get it.

You're probably right about verse 3, too: is "leuchte" subjunctive mood?


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 04:53 PM

I am pretty sure about verse 3 being subjunctive mood ("optative"), though it could also be imperative: Jesus Christ, light your light for my steps.

For the first lines, my theory is:
- I hail the Holy Night
- the Holy Night gave birth to that day (Christmas, Christ, Christianity)
- I, among others, was chosen by God to behold that day.

The second verse seems to address the Holy Night as well.

I am neither a native speaker of German nor of English, but I spent a long time in either country.


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Nov 16 - 06:43 PM

Five years ago, when this thread was new, I put the tune and chords for this piece in my book of piano music. It's a nice baroque piece, and I like it better without words.

(I am ignoring the strange link above.)


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 16 - 02:06 AM

I guess I missed your email with the midi for this one, Leeneia. Do you still have it?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Nov 16 - 10:34 PM

To my surprise, I found the Noteworthy Composer file after five years. It is in three parts and has the chord symbols above the melody.

Can you use that, Joe?


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 11:43 PM

Thanks, Leeneia - it's a nice tune. I have trouble with songs with omitted letters replaced by apostrophes in the lyrics. Titles like "Heil'ge Nacht" are even more confusing. Most times, I change the lyrics and put in the missing letters. So, for the sake of those who seek the song without the missing letters, it could also be referred to as "Heilige Nacht, ich gruesse dich" (or "Heilige Nacht, ich grüsse dich").

Here, a mere five years late, is leeneia's MIDI:

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Carol: Heil'ge Nacht, ich gruesse dich
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Nov 16 - 02:31 PM

I think you have to use Internet Explorer if you want to "Click to Play". On my computer, which uses Google Chrome, it won't play. The software simply offers to save it as a MIDI file.

Using Internet Explorer is a small price to pay for hearing a three-part Baroque piece from 1681.

Maybe somebody can make an ABC of the top line. If you want, I can submit a MIDI of the melody alone.


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