Nuit de Noël
(1908), a rarely played six-page ‘Esquisse’ (sketch) with French interpretative directions, was published in Paris by Durand. The accompaniment of the first section uses frail figurations based on fourths and fifths that suggest snowflakes on this unique night. Later a measured trill ostinato in the middle register serves as the background for a theme using a siciliana rhythm followed by a quotation of the Sicilian carol O sanctissima
, known as O du fröhliche
in German-speaking countries. The two pedals must remain depressed for much of this calm and delicate impressionistic piece featuring two indications asking the performer to suggest timpani and trumpets.
from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013