Berlioz's Messe Solennelle revised and performed by Jean-François Sénart and Chantal de Zeeuw for 4-part mixed choir and organ
It was 1824, and the young Hector Berlioz was twenty years old and about to enter the Conservatoire in the composition class. Even before he began serious studies, he already had a few pages of music to his credit, including a Messe Solennelle dedicated to his mother.
After two attempts at public performance, one of which was conducted by him, he decided to abandon the work and destroy all the material used by the choristers and musicians. Nevertheless, he kept the manuscript and entrusted it to a colleague, a student like himself, who in turn gave it to his brother, a choirmaster in Antwerp, where this precious document remained in an organ bench, unbeknownst to anyone, until 1992!
Since then, a facsimile publication of the Messe Solennelle by Editions Bärenreiter has been made, allowing it to be widely known and appreciated despite the original imperfections and clumsiness. It is therefore as a tribute to its creative genius that we dedicate to it our approach to a revision likely to confirm the undeniable qualities of this majestic score.
The transcription for four mixed voices, the alignment of the melodic impulses with the Latin prosody, as well as the adaptation of the orchestral accompaniment for the organ should make this masterpiece more accessible and more widely known.
For four-part mixed choir (SATB) and organ.