Trio of the Young Ishmaelites, from the oratorio “L'Enfance du Christ” Op25, composed by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Edited by Werner Richter for two Flutes and Harp (or Piano)
Includes score and parts
“Berlioz' oratorio “L'Enfance du Christ” (“The Childhood of Christ”) op.25 is one of the shortest of his great choral works, and of all his dramatic works it is interespersed with the largest number of idyllic passages. Composed in 1854 it immediately enjoyed great success in Paris and Brussels as well as in Dresden under Hans von Bulow. This was the first ever French oratorio to be performed on German soil.
The text of this “Trilogie sacree” was written by Berlioz himself and translated into German by the poet-composer Peter Cornelius (who wrote the “Barber of Bagdad”). Recited by a narrator, it tells the story of the flight of Mary, Joseph and the infant Christ from the point of Herod's sinister dream to where they are given refuge by a gentile carpenter in the city of Sais in the Nile delta (The closing words of the oratorio are as follows: “And this it came to pass that the Saviour was given refuge by the Gentiles'.”- “Fut sauve le sauveur.”). In honour of his new guests the Ishmaelite calls for music, which is played by young people on one harp and two flutes.
The trio, “execute par les jeunes Ismaelites”, is an instrumental piece in itself, separate from the dramatic action and is one of the few pieces of chamber music by Berlioz (one, or possibly several quintetts for flute, 2 violins, viola and cello of 1819 are missing).
This present edition is based on the score of 1855, published by Richault in Paris.” -Werner Richter (Preface)