Messe des pêcheurs de Villerville

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The Messe des pêcheurs de Villerville (Mass of the fishermen of Villerville) is a missa brevis written by Gabriel Fauré in collaboration with his former pupil André Messager. A later version, published as Messe basse contained only movements composed by Fauré.

Messe des pêcheurs de Villerville (1881)[edit]

Fauré and Messager worked together on the mass in the summer of 1881.[1]

The sections of the mass run as follows:

  1. Kyrie (Messager)
  2. Gloria (Fauré)
  3. Sanctus (Fauré)
  4. O Salutaris (Messager)
  5. Agnus Dei (Fauré)

The first performance took place in Villerville on 4 September 1881 accompanied by a harmonium and a violin. The concert was in aid of the fishermen's charitable association. Messager orchestrated the first four sections, and Fauré the last. A second performance, this time accompanied by orchestra, was given in Villerville the following year.

Messe basse (published 1907)[edit]

In 1907 Heugel & Cie published a version of the mass, removing Messager's sections and the Gloria (apart from a part of its music that was reused for the added Benedictus), and incorporating a new Kyrie by Fauré; this version, produced by Fauré in 1906, appeared under the title Messe basse.[2]