Editor’s Note: Hector Berlioz’s “Quartetto e coro dei maggi” (“Quartet and Chorus of the Magi”) was written sometime around the year 1832 but not published until 1902. The author of the text is not known, though it might well have been Berlioz himself. Below is the original Italian text and an English translation, followed by a performance of the work.

Il Redentore è nato!
Gioia! Il Redentore è nato!
Speranza e gioia!
Popoli della terra, il Redentore è nato.
Popoli, contento, allegrezza!
O gioia, contento e riso!
Popoli, gioia, speranza!
Il Redentore è nato.

The Redeemer has been born!
Joy! The Redeemer has been born!
Hope and joy!
Peoples of the earth, the Redeemer has been born.
People, be happy, be joyous!
O joy, be happy and laugh!
People, joy, hope!
The Redeemer has been born!

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Editor’s Note: The featured image is “The Adoration of the Magi,” by Jean Pierre Granger (1779-1840).

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Published: Jan 5, 2019
Hector Berlioz
Louis-Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) was a French Romantic composer, who wrote such masterpieces as the Symphonie fantastique, Roméo et Juliette, Grande messe des morts (Requiem), the oratorios La damnation de Faust and L'Enfance du Christ, and the operas Les Troyens and Benvenuto Cellini. Berlioz, who specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works, also made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in the music of composers such as Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, and Gustav Mahler.
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