Sunday 4th November is a very special day for All Saints Church Fulham, it’s the nearest Sunday to our patronal festival – All Saints Day.
The Choir will sing a full mass to enhance the celebrations. Last year, it was Mozart’s Coronation Mass, this year, it will be Vierne’s Messe Solenelle.
Louis Vierne (1870-1937), the great French organist and composer, was actually born almost blind due to congenital cataracts. For his own compositions, he wrote out his music on extra large manuscript paper, and as his sight worsened, in Braille.
He was taught the organ by Cesar Franck at the Paris Conservatoire. He then became assistant organist to the legendary Charles-Marie Widor at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. On Widor’s advice, he applied and then became organist at the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris in 1900.
2012 is the 75th anniversary of his death. He actually died while giving an organ recital at Notre-Dame. He was about to begin one of his famous improvisations when he suffered a stroke. He toppled forward and his foot struck the low E, he died moments later.
During his lifetime, Vierne was very influential, he taught many famous musicians including Marcel Dupre, Joseph Bonnet, Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Durufle and Jean Langlais.
The video is the Choir of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris singing the Sanctus from the Messe Solenelle