Cantique de Jean Racine

One the strength of it having a name in the title, we are returning to Gabriel Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine. Here is a page linking to rehearsal files for the different parts.

Despite having performed this in Capital Choir in 2015 and several times previously, I never knew who Jean Racine was and why his name appears in the title. Apparently he was a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France, along with Molière and Corneille. The text, “Verbe égal au Très-Haut” (“Word, one with the Highest”), is a French paraphrase by the aforementioned Jean Racine of a Latin hymn from the breviary for matins, Consors paterni luminis. And the canticle was composed by Faure for a composition competition at the École Niedermeyer de Paris in 1864–1865 when he was a student. So now we know.