Hyperion Records

Messe pour Notre-Dame
February 2002; SATB and organ (optionally 2 organs); commissioned by Neil Shepherd and the Choir of Keynsham Parish Church, Bristol; first performed at Notre-Dame de Paris, 28 July 2002
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

'Briggs: Mass for Notre Dame' (CDA67808)
Briggs: Mass for Notre Dame
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67808 
Movement 1: Kyrie
Movement 2: Gloria
Movement 3: Sanctus
Movement 4: Benedictus
Movement 5: Agnus Dei

Messe pour Notre-Dame
The Messe pour Notre-Dame is a fusion of Cochereau transcription and Briggs’ own compositional voice. ‘About 15% is based on some wonderful Cochereau improvisations for the Feast of the Assumption in 1962’, he says. ‘I transcribed them from an unedited reel-to-reel recording made in Notre-Dame that day by Fred Tulan, a well-known American organist and great friend of Pierre. You can hear—in the ‘Domine Deus’ section of the Gloria and introductions to the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei—Cochereau’s incredible invention and ravishing harmonies. I’ve tried to make the link into my own music as imperceptible as possible, but it is for others to say if it’s successful or not!’.

Messe pour Notre-Dame was indeed conceived specifically for the great Parisian cathedral and its mighty 1868 Cavaillé-Coll organ. The choir it was written for was an English one, however—commissioned by Neil Shepherd and the choir of Keynsham Parish Church, near Bristol, they performed it with Briggs in Notre-Dame on 28 July 2002. What a magnificent gift to that most endangered musical species of the early twenty-first century, the English Parish Church Choir.

from notes by Meurig Bowen © 2010

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67808 track 9
Agnus Dei
Recording date
10 July 2009
Recording venue
Gloucester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Briggs: Mass for Notre Dame (CDA67808)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: June 2010
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