French composer, Charles Gounod (1818-1893) was a prominent in his day, best remembered for his “Ave Maria” and his opera, Faust. 1854 saw the premiere of his Solemn Mass, also known as the St. Cecilia Mass. This work fully established Gounod as a noteworthy composer. Despite being a minor composer to us today, Gounod was famed in his day, so much so that at his funeral, Camille Saint-Saëns played the organ and Gabriel Fauré conducted. Gounod's Solemn Mass proves the composer's extraordinary talent and caught the attention of much of Paris when it was first performed. Famous recordings include that of the Chorus of Radio France with the New Philharmonia Orchestra. For all aspiring choirs, Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass is an imperative, sublime addition to the repertoire.
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