Christmas song “Silent night, wonderful night”: notes and history of creation
On the wall of the old school in the Austrian town of Arndorf and now hangs a memorial plaque. The inscription tells that in these walls two people – the teacher Franz Grubber and the priest Joseph Mor wrote in a single impulse a wonderful hymn “Silent night, wonderful night …”, having received inspiration from the Creator of worlds. This immortal work in 2018 will be 200 years old. And many will be interested in the history of its creation.
THE NIGHT OF THE TEACHER’S LAND IN THE APARTMENT In the poor apartment of the teacher Gruber did not light the lamps, it was a dark night here. Little Marichen, the only child of a young couple, has gone into eternity. Father, too, was hard on the heart, but he tried to come to terms with the loss that had befallen them. But the inconsolable mother could not cope with this blow. She did not say a word, did not cry, remaining indifferent to everything. Her husband comforted her, admonished her, surrounding her with care and affection, offered to eat or at least drink water. The woman did not react to anything and slowly faded away. Driven by a sense of duty, Franz Grubber on that pre-Christmas evening came to the church, where a celebration was held for the children. With sadness, he gazed into their happy faces and then returned to his dark apartment.
STAR, GIVING INSPIRATION Franz, trying to dispel the oppressive silence, began to tell his wife about the ministry, but in response, not a word. After fruitless attempts sat down at the piano. His musical talent kept in memory so many beautiful melodies of great composers, who draw hearts to heaven, pleasing and comforting.
What to play this evening grieving spouse? Grubber’s fingers randomly fumbled at the keys, and he himself was looking for a sign in the sky, some kind of vision. His gaze suddenly stopped at a distant star, which shone in the dark sky. From there, from the height of the heavens, a ray of love descended. He filled the heart of a man with such joy and an unearthly world that he began to sing, improvising an amazing melody: Silent night, wondrous night. Dormant all … Just do not sleep Reverently young couple … Full text and notes for the choir – HERE And, lo and behold! The inconsolable mother, as it were, awoke from the grief that held her heart. A sob escaped from her chest, and tears flowed down her cheeks.
She immediately rushed to her husband’s neck, and together they completed the performance of the born hymn.
THE Eve of CHRISTMAS OF 1818 – THE BIRTHDAY OF PSALM On this night, Franz Gruber, through a blizzard and bad weather – for 6 kilometers rushed to Pastor Moru. Joseph, listening reverently to improvisation, immediately wrote the song’s heartfelt words for her motives. And together they sang the Christmas carol, which was later destined to become famous. The full text and notes for the choir are HERE On Christmas Day, the psalm authors first performed it in front of the parishioners in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. And everyone clearly felt that they know these words and melody well and can sing along, although they are hearing for the first time.
SEARCHING FOR PSALMA AUTHORS “Silent Night” very quickly spread through the cities of Austria and Germany. The names of its authors remained unknown (they themselves did not seek glory for themselves). Celebrating Christmas in 1853, the Prussian king Frederick William IV was shocked to hear “Silent Night”. The court accompanist was ordered to find the authors of this song. How was it done? Gruber and Mor were not famous. Josef died by that time a beggar, not even 60 years old. But Franz Grubber could have been looking for a long time, if not for one incident. The Salzburg Choir on the eve of Christmas in 1854 rehearsed “Silent Night”. One of the choir members, Felix Gruber, sang it differently, not like everyone else. And not at all the way the choir regent taught. Having received the comment, he politely replied: “I sing as my father taught me. And father knows best how to sing. After all, he himself composed this song. ” Fortunately, the choir director knew the accompanist of the King of Prussia and he knew the order … Thus, Franz Gruber spent the rest of his days in abundance and honor.
THE VICTORY OF THE INSPIRED CHRISTMAS PSALMA Back in 1839, the “Tyrolean singers” ensemble of the Reiners family performed this amazing Christmas carol in America during their concert tour. He had a great success, so immediately made a translation into English, and “Silent Night” since then began to sound everywhere. An interesting testimony of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who traveled in Tibet, was published at the time. He decided to arrange a Christmas party in Lhasa. And he was just shocked when the students of British schools started singing “Silent Night” with him. The night is quiet, the night is holy … This wonderful Christmas carol resounds on all continents. He is performed by huge choirs, small groups and individual vocalists. The heartfelt words of the Christmas Gospel, along with the heavenly melody, conquer the hearts of the people. A long life has been prepared for an inspired psalm – listen to it!