|Short Name:||Jacques Berthier|
|Full Name:||Berthier, Jacques, 1923-1994|
Berthier was born in Auxerre, Burgundy; both of his parents were musicians - his father Paul was the kapellmeister and organist at the Auxerre Cathedral. Learning first from his parents, Berthier was trained in music at the César Franck School in Paris. While there, he was taught by, among others, Edward Souberbielle and Guy de Lioncourt (whose daughter he married). In 1955 Berthier was first asked to compose music for the Taizé Community, which was then just a monastic community of twenty brothers. Six years later he became organist at the Church of the Jesuits in Paris, Saint-Ignace, where he worked until his death. In 1975, Berthier was again asked to compose for Taizé, this time for chants to be sung by the increasing numbers of young people coming to worship there. Over nearly twenty years, Berthier built up a body of church music that has been utilized around the world. He died at his home in Paris in 1994, and requested that none of his own music be used in his funeral at Saint-Sulpice. His son is Vincent Berthier de Lioncourt.
Berthier was born at Auxerre, Burgundy, in 1923, to musician parents. His father, Paul, was a composer and student of Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum, and in 1907 founded the famous Little Singers of the Wooden Cross. He was master of the chapel and organist at the Cathedral of Auxerre for fifty years.
At first, Jacques was a student of his parents. He studied piano, organ, harmony, and composition with them. Soon, he began to compose melodies and original instrumental pieces.
After the war, he entered the César Franck School in Paris. There he became a serious student of composition under Guy de Lioncourt (the nephew of Vincent d'Indy) whose musician daughter he married. He also studied organ, the fugue, and counterpoint with Edward Souberbielle. He became acquainted with other musicians there, including Pere Joseph Gelineau. Gelineau asked him to compose a series of antiphons for his celebrated psalms. In 1955, Berthier was to compose his first works for the Taizé Community, which at that time consisted of only twenty brothers who sang beautifully in four equal voices.
In 1961 he was appointed organist at St-Ignace, the Jesuit church in Paris--a position he held until his death. He continued to compose and publish, receiving requests from various parishes. The brothers of Taizé once again approached him in 1975, asking him to compose simple repetitive chants for use by the increasing numbers of young people who came from all parts of the world each year to gather at Taizé.
Little by little, over a period of nearly twenty years, a vast repertoire of original and altogether new music was created and became known thought the world as "Music from Taizé." The concept for this unique form of congregational song was developed by the late Brother Robert, one of the early members of the community. He gathered and prepared the texts, sent them to Berthier with rather specific form guidelines, and the extraordinary Berthier compositional craft and creativity produced what may be the most widely sung contemporary Christian music in the world.
For a week in October of 1983, GIA editor Bob Batastini participated in the process with Jacques Berthier and Brother Robert to edit, and in some instances compose, the music for the second volume of the Music from Taizé. Berthier's genius was so evident in the way he, with a careful spontaneity, clothed text after text in eminently tuneful melody. Most impressive was his ability to sense the natural word accent of languages, such as English, which he did not speak. Jacques Berthier composed the "music from Taizé" for texts in more than twenty languages, reaching all parts of the globe.
At the same time as he was writing this vast body of work, Jacques Berthier continued to compose for traditional Catholic parishes as well as for large gatherings of people where the assembly plays an important role. He composed complete masses for monastic communities, collections of liturgical instrumental pieces for flute, oboe, and organ, as well as larger sacred works for concert performance. His style (other than the Taizé music) was quite personalized and almost always used the Gregorian modes.
On June 27, 1994, Berthier died at his home in Paris. For his funeral, which was celebrated at St-Sulpice in Paris, he had requested that none of his own music be sung. One observer suggested that perhaps he knew something that most of us fail to grasp.
|Texts by Jacques Berthier (21)||As||Instances|
|It is He who forgives all your guilt||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Bless the Lord my soul, And bless God's holy name||Jacques Berthièr (Author)||1|
|Come and fill our hearts with your peace (Confitemini Domino)||Jacques Berthier (Author)||3|
|Come and pray in us, Holy Spirit||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Come, rejoice in God||Jacques Berthier (Author)||3|
|Dona nobis pacem Domine||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Gloria, Gloria, in excelsis Deo||Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994 (Author)||1|
|Ĝoju do en Li||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Come, Holy Spirit, from heaven shine forth||Jacques Berthier (Adapter)||3|
|In the Lord I'll be ever thankful||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Jesus, remember me||Jacques Berthier (Author)||1|
|Raise a song of gladness (Jubilate Deo)||Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994 (Author)||1|
|[Live in Charity]||Jacques Berthier (Author)||1|
|O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer||Jacques Berthier (Author)||3|
|Oculi nostri ad Dominum Jesum (Our eyes are tuned to the Lord Jesus Christ)||Jacques Berthier (Author)||3|
|Pour tes merveilles, Seigneur Dieu||Jacques Berthier (1923-1994) (Author)||2|
|Stay here and keep watch with me||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Stay with us, O Lord Jesus Christ||Jacques Berthier (Author)||1|
|[The Spirit is Willing]||Jacques Berthier (Author)||2|
|Wait for the Lord whose day is near||Jacques Berthier (Author)||3|
|Your love, O Jesus Christ, has gathered us together||Jacques Berthier (Author)||1|