Today’s post is a continuation of several recent posts dedicated to personal favorite large choral classical works in the western tradition. From my earliest memories as a child listening daily to classical music on our home phonograph, the most memorable moments continue to be the large choral works that became ingrained in my consciousness and remain so to this day.
Charles Gounod’s St. Cecelia Mass is one of these very special choral works. From its first hearing in the mid-sixties (recorded in 1963) on an Angel LP disc, it became a family favorite – and remains so to this day, just short of fifty years later. Of course the original vinyl disc was replaced several times over the decades, until it went out of print in the late eighties or early nineties. I thought that our family might never be able to reconstruct the original sound from that recording, but I was quite excited to find the EMI re-release on CD arriving in 2001. We were not disappointed. The CD was an excellent transcription (in ADD format) and we had our beloved ‘St. Cecelia Mass’ back with us in all of its glory, with greater clarity and less noise than we had with our original recordings.