Silent Night, Holy Night

Minedition 14th July 2005

24. 12. 1818. A small town in Austria. Hunger reigns, poverty spreads. A curate, Joseph Mohr, and a teacher, Franz Xaver Gruber, want to make a gift for the people on Christmas Eve, they want to bring joy despite the oppressive atmosphere. The song Silent Night - Holy Night emerges and is premiered the same evening in a church. People go home on this evening, deeply moved with a true gift. And this feeling is repeated many, many times, wherever this song sounds, wherever people feel connected across boundaries through these lines and this melody. It has by now been sung in 140 languages. The story is fascinating for young and old, the result is a true family book.

Hubert von Goisern has interpreted the song in its original version exclusively for this release.

Family book

Salzburger Nachrichten 29th November 2005 | Text: Bernhard Flieher

The most silent night

The story of the song Silent Night, Holy Night has been told thousands of time. The former SN culture department head Werner Thuswaldner (text) and the illustrator Robert Ingpen (pictures) tell it once more for Michael Neugebauer's "minedition" publishing house - and suitable for children too in a "family book", which lends itself best to being read aloud on cold winter evenings.

The story of the simple song, which Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber created in a few hours for 1818 midnight mass in the parish church in Oberndorf is richly and beautifully illustrated. The text is full of facts, sensitive, but never naïve. Not only the story of the song is looked at. The attendant social circumstances are also discussed. Poverty is rife after the war between Austria and France. In this plight the song was regarded by the population as a gift, as a comfort.

A special extra aside from the storytelling and illustrations is the CD, only available as a supplement to the book. Thuswaldner tells the story of the two creators, the broken organ and the humble, yet earth-shattering melody. Hubert von Goisern sings the song, which has been translated into around 140 languages, in its original version: voice and guitar.