Louis Vierne Allegro from 2ème Symphonie
Pierre Cochereau Berceuse à la mémoire de Louis Vierne
Louis Vierne Les Angélus *
Nicolas de Grigny Ave maris stella
Claude Balbastre Marche des Marseillois et l’air ça ira
Bethany Seymour soprano *
Ben Horden organ
On the evening of 15th April, the world’s stage was dominated by the horrifying images of Notre-Dame de Paris ablaze in the centre of the French Capital. Although devastated by the fire, the Cathedral, defiant, resisted complete destruction and now rises from the ashes to face a new chapter in its history.
Alongside many other of its treasures, the organ, dating from the 1700s, escaped the clutches of destruction. Although it has now fallen silent, no doubt for some years, its distinctive voice is not lost and will, thankfully, be heard again. The organ of Exeter College itself speaks with a distinctly French accent, and this programme pays homage to the musicians of Notre-Dame and to the building itself; it includes works by past organists of the Cathedral, a setting of the plainsong Vespers hymn to The Blessed Virgin Mary – to whom the great building is dedicated – and homage to the Country itself as it rallies to restore the building to its former glory, for the praise of Almighty God, as a centre of worship and prayer and as an historical and architectural gem.