We’re celebrating Dedication Sunday this week so All Saints Fulham Choir will be singing Vierne’s Messe Solenelle at the 9.30am Eucharist on Sunday 7th July at All Saints Fulham Church.
Louis Vierne (1870-1937), the great French organist and composer, was actually born almost blind due to congenital cataracts. For his own compositions, Viene wrote out his music on extra large manuscript paper, and later 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.
Vierne 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