Charles-René Collin was a French musician and organist, born in 1827 in Saint-Brieuc and died in 1911 in this city. Coming from a family of musicians, he was organist of the cathedral of Saint-Brieuc from 1845 to 1909. He was very interested in the popular tunes of Brittany which he made arrangements for organ.
His father, Julien Collin, himself was organist of the cathedral of Saint-Brieuc and Charles-René succeeded him. Another son, Pierre, was also an organist, while the four other brothers, Jules, Louis, Felix, and Auguste, enter the ecclesiastical career and become canons of the cathedral, directing the religious choirs, and composing music.
Charles-René was sent to study in Paris and becomes one of the few students of Louis James Alfred Lefebure-Wély, organist of Saint-Roch, as well as attending the Conservatory of Music of Paris.
His eldest son, Charles-Augustin Collin (1863-1938) was also a prolific composer and his other son, Julien, under the name of Sullian Collin took an active part in the Breton regionalist movement at the beginning of the 20th century. He was the editor-in-chief of a musical revue, the Sonneur de Bretagne, which only appeared for three years. It did not concern Breton music.
Charles-René was associated with the great organbuilder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and had close relations with three of the greatest French organists, César Franck, Alexandre Guilmant and Charles-Marie Widor.
These two delightful miniatures are for organ or harmonium. The first, "Venez divin Messie" (O come, Divine Messiah) features mostly the bright flute stops. The second, " Ou s'en vont ces gai bergers" (Where go these joyful Shepherds?) is set as a miniature march, with the sounds of trumpet and oboe predominating.
I did not originally conceive this as a "joined performance," but these works are brief, and go nicely together.
The scores are attached below, as well as photos of the Cathedral of Saint-Brieuc, and several of the organ.