on the site of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Sainte Clotilde Basilica, Paris, France.
The organ played a mysterious prelude, quite unlike any I had heard at Lille; I was bowled over and became almost ecstatic. There was more to come at the Offertoire; the theme so unfamiliar, yet so attractive, such rich harmonies, such subtle figurations, and a pervasive intensity that astounded me. I reveled in such delights and wished they would never end. We listened to the Sortie right up to the last note; it was a long paraphrase on the "Ite missa est," full of lyrical flights of fancy that conjured up for me heavenly visions of processions of angels chanting ‘Hosanna’. (...) I could not hold back my tears. I knew nothing; I understood nothing; but my natural instinct was violently shaken by this expressive music echoing through my every pore. Faint premonitions of the true meaning of music arose in me. I could not express it in precise terms, but when my uncle asked me what I had felt and what it had done to me, I replied ’it's beautiful because it is beautiful; I don't know why, but it is so beautiful that I would like to play such music and die immediately afterwards’.
Louis Vierne, at the age of 11 years, visiting the mass at Sainte Clotilde for the first time with Cesar Franck playing the organ.
The Great Organ of Sainte Coltilde is also on Facebook (only in French).
latest changes 10-4-2017