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Adam, as a composer of both ballet and vocal music, knew how to showcase the artistry of his performers ? dancers or singers. While his greatest showpiece for the voice is perhaps the Postillon aria from Le Postillon de Lonjumeau, the Cantique de No?l is by far his best known, familiar to both classical and popular audiences. When it was first published, many religious leaders felt that the Cantique was too theatrical, making a showpiece out of a text that demanded a more contemplative treatment. Audiences, however, disagreed, and the song is still popular both in the original French version, "Minuit, Chr?tiens," and the English-language version, "O Holy Night." The rising vocal line builds slowly, further intensifying at the exclamatory "Peuple, ? genoux," and then climaxing on a high B flat at the triumphant "No?l!"
This arrangement features a supplemental third violin part with an optional bass part for use with string orchestra.
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