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

Concert details

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

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’.

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.

Our Soloists will be Helen Bailey (Soprano), Nicholas Keay (Tenor) and Jim Clements (Baritone). Organ accompaniment will be provided by Scott Farrell and the performance will, as usual, be conducted by our Music Director, Clifford Lister.

Tickets for this concert cost £10 in advance and £12 at the door, students £5 and children £2. Seating is unreserved. Purchase your advance tickets from Choir members, from our Ticket Secretary (tel. 01304 620560) or online – see below. Please note that there is a £1 administration charge for online bookings. This is to cover PayPal and postage costs. Advance tickets purchased online after Monday 19th March will be kept for you to collect at the door.

Please note that this concert will take place at Holy Trinity Church BROADSTAIRS, and take care to allow plenty of time for parking.




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

Holy Trinity Church


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