Summer Festival of Sacred Music at St. Bart's Continues with Gabriel Faure Today
The 19th annual Summer Festival continues today, September 1 at 11 am with a service of sacred music for sopranos and altos by Gabriel Fauré including his Messe Basse.
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was one of the foremost French composers of his generation and his musical style had a profound influence upon composers in the 20th century. As a composer, he produced great works in all genres including choral, vocal, symphonic and chamber music. He was the Director of the Paris Conservatoire and Choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine- two of the most coveted musical positions in Paris. His compositional style is characterized by restraint in mood, gracefulness of melodic line and brilliance in color and texture.
Fauré's Messe Basse was composed in 1881, while the composer was on holiday in Normandy. It is scored for sopranos, altos and organ. The title Messe Basse or Low Mass refers to a mass with only the Kryie, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. The more extensive and dramatic Gloria and Credo movements are omitted, thus providing the perfect palette for Fauré's understated style. The eloquent lyricism and the subtle harmonic shifts of his Messe Basse are typical of his writing in other genres, particularly his superb songs. Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine will also be heard.
The Sopranos and Altos of St. Bartholomew's Choir will be conducted by William K. Trafka. Paolo Bordignon will be the organist.
The Summer Festival of Sacred Music takes place each Sunday morning at 11 am at St. Bartholomew's Church during the summer months. At a time when most churches reduce their musical offerings, St. Bartholomew's Church provides outstanding sacred music sung by St. Bartholomew's Choir and Boy and Girl Choristers, two of New York City's most renowned choirs. Works include an array of mass settings from the 15th century to the present embracing a diversity of cultures from around the world. The music is sung as part of the 11 am service, the liturgical context for which it was composed. All Summer Festival events are free and open to the public.
The Summer Festival of Sacred Music takes place at St. Bart's, located at the corner of Park Avenue and 51st Street. Subway: 6 to 51st Street. For more information, call (212) 378-0222 or
visit the website for the complete schedule.