Messe solennelle (Berlioz)
Messe solennelle is a setting of the Catholic Solemn Mass by the French composer Hector Berlioz. It was written in 1824, when the composer was twenty, and first performed at the church of Saint-Roch, Paris on 25 July 1825, and again at the church of Saint-Eustache in 1827. After this, Berlioz claimed to have destroyed the entire score, except for the Resurrexit, but in 1991 a Belgian schoolteacher, Frans Moors, came across a copy of the work in an organ gallery in Antwerp, and it has since been revived.
Scored for soprano, tenor, (prominent) bass, mixed chorus, and large orchestra, its movements are:
- Motet pour l’Offertoire
- O salutaris hostia
- Agnus Dei
- Domine salvum fac
The first modern performance was given by the conductor John Eliot Gardiner at the church of St. Petri in Bremen on 3 October 1993, and the first recording was made by conductor Jean-Paul Penin on 5 October 1993 in the Vézelay Basilica. Gardiner too recorded the work. Recent performances include three given at the 2012 Salzburg Festival, with the Vienna Philharmonic under Riccardo Muti.
- Christa Pfeiler (soprano), Ruben Velasquez (tenor), Jacques Perroni (bass), National Krakow Choir and Philharmony, conducted by Jean-Paul Penin, live on October 5, 1993, at Vézelay Basilica (France-Télévision, France-Musique, Accord Universal Music Group). First recording.
- Donna Brown (soprano), Jean-Luc Viala (tenor), Gilles Cachemaille (bass), Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (Philips, 1994).
- Genia Kühmeier (soprano), Giuseppe Sabbatini (tenor), Ildar Abdrazakov (bass), Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, conducted by Riccardo Muti, live in December 2004 (RAI-TV).
- Julia Kleiter (soprano), Saimir Pirgu (tenor), Ildar Abdrazakov (bass), Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti, live in Salzburg in August 2012 (ORF).
- Booklet notes to the Penin recording listed above
- Berlioz: Mémoires, Paris, Garnier-Flammarion, 1969.
- Booklet notes to the Gardiner recording listed above
- David Cairns: Berlioz: The Making of an Artist (the first volume of his biography of the composer) (André Deutsch, 1989)
- Hugh Macdonald: Berlioz ("The Master Musicians", J.M.Dent, 1982)
- Berlioz: Memoirs (Dover, 1960)
- Association Nationale Hector Berlioz, Bulletin de liaison n°44, jan. 2010.
- Site Berlioz 2003. 
- "Les Premières armes du jeune Berlioz : la Messe Solennelle", Jean-Paul Penin.
- De ontdekking van de Messe Solennelle, W. Gladines.
- La Messe Solennelle de Berlioz, oct. 13 th, 1993 La Croix
- La Messe Solennelle de Berlioz, oct. 13 th, 1993 Le Monde