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Noel Valaisa

(Jean Daetwyler)

This piece of music was written by Jean Daetwyler on a commission from Swiss Radio International.  It depicts the story of the birth of Christ as seen through the eyes and expressed by the voices of townspeople in Heremence, Valais, Switzerland.  The Chanson du Rhone choristers combine with the natural sounds of the canton to create an audio authenticity that results in a live, moving musical drama.

It comprises four parts:

  • I. The Angels – While shepherds watch their flocks, the angels play with stars and announce the birth of Christ.
  • II. The Shepherds – The shepherds travel to the birthplace of Jesus and play music for Him.
  • III. The Kings – The Magi follow the star in the east and present their gifts to the baby Jesus.
  • IV. The Bells – The carillon and choir unite in song to ring out the good news that the Savior is born.

“Noel Valaisan” appears on a pair of recordings, Christmas in Switzerland and Messe Valaisanne.

Chanson du Rhone recordings
Noel Valaisa (Jean Daetwyler)
Musica Helvetica MH CD 69-2 (Christmas in Switzerland)


  3. Liner notes:  Christmas in Switzerland