Contes mystiques

This is one of a series of posts about books used as source material for Art Song Central.

Book Title: Contes mystiques
Publisher: A. Durand & Fils
Copyright: 1890

This entire volume is available for free download from Google Books: Contes Mystiques


  • Ce que l’on entendit dans la Nuit de Noël – Augusta Holmès (piano only)
  • Les premiers Pas de Jésus – Ed. Diet
  • Pourquoi les Oiseaux chantent – Th. Dubois
  • En Prière – G. Fauré
  • Berceuse des Anges – Ch. Leqocq
  • Les Fils de la Vierge – Ch. Lenepveu
  • La Rosée – H. Marechal
  • La Neige – J. Massenet
  • Premier Miracle de Jésus – E. Paladilhe
  • Présage de la Croix – C. Saint-Saëns
  • Le Rêve de Jésus – Pauline Viardot
  • Non Credo – C.M. Widor

These French songs are all set to texts by the relatively unknown poet and playwright Stéphan Bordèse (1847-?). (With the exception of the piano “prelude”.) It’s surprising to me that a poet who was obviously well regarded by so many well known composers would have so little information available about him. He appears to have published several plays in the early 20th century, so I gather he was still active in 1902. If anyone can tell me more about Bordèse, please let me know.

These songs all seem related to the birth and youth of Jesus, and many appear to be appropriate for the Christmas season.

Songs from this volume will be uploaded as song posts are created for them. If you would like me to give priority to a song that is not yet posted, please let me know via the contact page.