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Bard Music Festival

Program Six • Sacred Music in France

August 15–16

Add to Calendar2024-08-15 7:00 pm2024-08-15 7:00 pmEDTProgram Six • Sacred Music in FranceChurch of the Messiah, Rhinebeck,
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Following the success of last season’s first foray off-campus, the Bard Music Festival returns to nearby Rhinebeck for Program Six. Once again featuring the renovated organ of the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, this program presents a range of religious works in the ecclesiastical environment for which they were written.

Organ pieces by masters of the genre Alfred Lefébure-Wély, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Olivier Messiaen will be interspersed with short choral works by Berlioz, Cherubini, Meyerbeer, Fauré, and Dmitry Bortniansky, a Ukrainian who served at the court of Catherine the Great.

The program showcases two Romantic compositions that were first presented to the public as rediscoveries from the past: a faux-Renaissance hymn by Pierre-Louis Dietsch and the purportedly 17th-century La fuite en Égypte. Heard here in the original version for tenor, chorus, and chamber orchestra, this was in fact by Berlioz, who later incorporated it into his oratorio L’enfance du Christ.


With Renée Anne Louprette, organ, and members of the Bard Festival Chorale and members of The Orchestra Now, conducted by James Bagwell

Hector Berlioz (1803–69)

Veni Creator Spiritus (c. 1860-68)

La fuite en Egypte: Mystère en style ancien (1850)

Choral and organ works by Dmitry Bortniansky (1751-1825), Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842), Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864), Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), Pierre-Louis Dietch (1808–65), Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817–69), César Franck (1822–90), Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924), and Olivier Messiaen (1908–92)


The beautiful Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck, NY, has limited capacity, so to best accommodate patrons, we will offer Program Six: Sacred Music in France on both Thursday, August 15 at 7 pm as well as Friday, August 16 at 3 pm.

The Organ

The organ at the Church of the Messiah was installed in 1923 by the celebrated E.M. Skinner Company of Boston. The company, which had a reputation for creating instruments of superb quality and great tonal beauty, built organs for prominent churches and universities, including both the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and St. Thomas Church in New York. A gift to the parish by Captain Vincent Astor, the organ has just returned to the church following a major reconditioning by Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburg, Missouri.

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