Vierne ‘Messe Solennelle’ and Gounod ‘St Cecilia Mass’

Concert details

Our Spring 2018 concert will be an all-French programme.

Born in Poitiers in 1870, Vierne showed an exceptional interest in music from a very early age. When he was two years old a pianist played him a Schubert lullaby,  and he promptly began to pick out the notes of the lullaby on the piano. Here we immerse ourselves in the amazing soundworld of his Messe Solennelle, a work of depth, feeling, and continuous forward motion which was composed between 1898 and 1900 and premiered in 1901.

Gounod’s Messe Solennelle de Sainte-Cécile (St Cecilia Mass) was his first major work. It was premiered on St. Cecilia’s day, 22 November 1855, in Saint-Eustache, Paris, where it was customary to celebrate the day by the performance of a new mass. The vocal parts of the mass are performed by three soloists (soprano, tenor and bass) and a choir of four parts, sometimes with divided tenor and bass. The soloists act mostly as an ensemble, without arias. The composer Saint-Saens ranked it amongst Gounod’s best works and commented that ‘the appearance of the Messe Sainte-Cécile caused a kind of shock. This simplicity, this grandeur, this serene light which rose before the musical world like a breaking dawn, troubled people enormously … at first one was dazzled, then charmed, then conquered’.

Tickets for this concert will be on sale from mid-February 2018.



Date(s) - 24/03/2018
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Holy Trinity Church


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