Gabriel Faure was among the last of the nineteenth-century French romantic composers, living from 1845 to 1924. His two most popular choral works are undoubtedly his REQUIEM and CANTIQUE DE JEAN RACINE.
The CANTIQUE DE JEAN RACINE is certainly beautiful when sung in French, especially when one understands French, but English-speaking audiences will miss the deeper spiritual dimension of the prayer if the piece is not rendered in English. For this edition, the most common English text is used, with some minor adjustments that might make the words flow a little more naturally.
The accompaniment is quite orchestral in construction and is commonly done with organ, though a piano would probably be a better choice. The difficulty with the piano is that the accompaniment has a solo voice in it that is hard to play while keeping the arpeggiated chords going (most pianists don't have enough spare fingers). The solution chosen here is to give the arpeggiated chords to the harp, arguably the insturment best suited for such, and to give the solo line to the clarinet. This produces a fine effect that is an excellent change of pace for choirs that usually perform a cappella or with piano or organ.
The lyric is a prayer:
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Oh Redeemer divine, our sole hope of salvation,
Eternal light of the earth and the sky,
We kneel in adoration.
Oh Savior, turn on us Thy loving eye.
Send down on us the fire of Thy grace all consuming,
Whose wondrous might dispersed the powers of hell,
And rouse our slumbering souls with Thine illumining radiance,
That they may waken Thy mercy to tell.
Oh Christ, bestow Thy blessing on us, we implore Thee,
Who here are gathered on penitent knee.
Accept the hymns we chant to Thine eternal glory,
And these Thy gifts we return unto thee.
OH REDEEMER DIVINE, Gabriel Faure's "Cantique de Jean Racine" in English, arranged for SATB choir with harp and clarinet. The accompaniment can also be played on the organ, or an oboe, flute, or violin can be substituted for the clarinet. Arranger is Tom Kirkland. Comes in a PDF file of 2304K that contains a fourteen page full score, an eight page accompaniment score with clarinet part in B-flat, and the same eight-page accompaniment score with the clarinet part in C for use with flute, oboe, or violin (or all three staffs can be played on the organ), plus a license page, 31 pages in all. Performance time should be around 4:30.
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Last update: 4 March 2021