Sainte-Trinité, Paris

The Église de la Sainte-Trinité is a Roman Catholic church located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. The church is a building of the Second Empire period, built between 1861 and 1867 at a cost of almost 5 million francs.

La Trinité, as it is known, was designed by Théodore Ballu as part of the beautification and reorganization of Paris under Baron Haussmann. Exterior figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity on the church were sculpted by Eugène-Louis Lequesne. The 93 meter-long church has a bell tower 63 metres high topped by a dome. The choir is ten steps higher than the nave and surrounded by an ambulatory.[1] Also named after it are the rue de La Trinité and the square de La Trinité.

The church is accessible by the Métro (the nearby station, Trinité, is named after it) and is known internationally for its former organist, the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It was the location of Hector Berlioz's funeral, on 11 March 1869 and Georges Bizet's funeral in 1875.

The church's facade served as the inspiration for the design of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in Quebec City[2] and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, California.

Église de la Sainte-Trinité de Paris
Église de la Sainte-Trinité, ca. 1890-1900
Église de la Sainte-Trinité de Paris Face
Église de la Sainte-Trinité, 2007
Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris
Upper portion as viewed from the south.


La Trinité features two organs, a Cavaillé-Coll chancel organ and a Cavaillé-Coll grand organ located in the balcony. The latter instrument has been extensively renovated and expanded over the decades:

  • 1869 Original construction by the Cavaillé-Coll firm
  • 1871 Reconstruction and repairs by the Cavaillé-Coll firm after damages incurred during the Paris Commune of 1870
  • 1901 Rebuilding by Merklin
  • 1934 Rebuilding by the Pleyel-Cavaillé-Coll firm
  • 1962–65 Rebuilding by the Beuchet-Debierre firm

The current specifications of the grand organ are:

I Grand-Orgue C–g3
Montre 16′
Bourdon 16′
Montre 8′
Flûte harmonique 8′
Bourdon 8′
Gambe 8′
Prestant 4′
Flûte octaviante 4′
Nazard 2 2/3
Doublette 2′
Cornet V
Plein Jeu IV
Cymbale II–IV
Bombarde 16′
Trompette 8′
Clairon 4′
II Positif C–g3
Jeux sous expression:
Cor de nuit 8′
Flûte douce 4′
Nazard 2 2/3
Flageolet 2′
Tierce 1 3/5
Piccolo 1′
Clarinette 8′
Jeux non-expressifs:
Quintaton 16′
Principal 8′
Flûte harmonique 8′
Salicional 8′
Unda maris 8′
Prestant 4′
Doublette 2′
Cornet II–V
Fourniture IV
Basson 16′
Trompette 8′
Clairon 4′
III Récit
Bourdon 16′
Flûte traversière 8′
Bourdon 8′
Gambe 8′
Voix céleste 8′
Flûte octaviante 4′
Nazard 2 2/3
Octavin 2′
Tierce 1 3/5
Cymbale III
Bombarde 16′
Trompette 8′
Basson-Hautbois 8′
Voix humaine 8′
Clairon 4′
Pédale C–g1
Flûte 32′
Soubasse 16′
Contrebasse 16′
Flûte 8′
Bourdon 8′
Violoncelle 8′
Flûte 4′
Plein Jeu IV
Bombarde 16′
Trompette 8′
Clairon 4′


The titular organists at La Trinité include


  1. ^ Huisman, G. & Poisson, G. (1966) Les monuments de Paris. Paris: Hachette; p. 320.
  2. ^ "Église St-Jean-Baptiste (St. John the Baptist Church)". Fodor's. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  3. ^ Smith, Rollin (1999) "Louis Vierne: Organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral". Pendragon Press
  4. ^ Ochse, Orpha Caroline (1994) Organists and Organ Playing in Nineteenth-Century France and Belgium, pp. 195-96. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21423-8
  5. ^ "Organistes titulaires" (in French). Retrieved 12 January 2019.

External links

Coordinates: 48°52′38″N 2°19′53″E / 48.87722°N 2.33139°E

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (French: [aʁistid kavaje kɔl]; 4 February 1811 – 13 October 1899) was a French organ builder. He has the reputation of being the most distinguished organ builder of the 19th century. He pioneered innovations in the art and science of organ building that permeated throughout the profession and influenced the course of organ building and organ composing through the early 20th century. The organ reform movement sought to return organ building to a more Baroque style; but since the 1980s, Cavaillé-Coll's designs have come back into fashion. After Cavaillé-Coll's death, Charles Mutin maintained the business into the 20th century. Cavaillé-Coll was the author of many scientific journal articles and books on the organ in which he published the results of his researches and experiments. He was the inventor of several organ stops such as the flûte harmonique. His most famous organs in Paris are in Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Basilique Sainte-Clotilde and Eglise de la Madeleine.

Charles-Alexis Chauvet

Charles-Alexis Chauvet (7 June 1837 – 29 January 1871) was a French organist and composer.

Charles Lenepveu

Charles-Ferdinand Lenepveu (4 October 1840 – 16 August 1910), was a French composer and teacher. Destined for a career as a lawyer, he defied his family and followed a musical career. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, and won France's top musical award, the Prix de Rome in 1867.

Much of Lenepveu's career was as a professor at the Conservatoire from 1880. He was known as a strict conservative, hostile to musical innovation, as was much of the French musical Establishment of the time. He was expected to succeed Théodore Dubois as director of the Conservatoire in 1905, but his chances evaporated when he was implicated in an attempt to rig the results of that year's Prix de Rome in favour of his own pupils.

Désiré François Laugée

Désiré François Laugée (25 January 1823 – 24 January 1896) was a French painter. His work included portraits and classical religious or historical scenes.

His large murals still decorate several churches in Paris. He also made naturalist landscapes and genre paintings of peasants, particularly in his later life.

With this work he may be seen as a precursor of the Barbizon school. He achieved great success during his lifetime, although his work has since been largely ignored.

Félix-Joseph Barrias

Félix-Joseph Barrias (13 September 1822 – 24 January 1907) was a French painter.

He was well known in his day for his paintings on religious, historical or mythical subjects, but has now been largely forgotten.

Artists who trained in his studio and went on to achieve fame include Edgar Degas, Gustave Achille Guillaumet and Henri Pille.

Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (French: [ʒɔʁʒ bizɛ]; 25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of his two operas that reached the stage in this time—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were immediately successful.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne was instantly popular. The production of Bizet's final opera, Carmen, was delayed because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.

Bizet's marriage to Geneviève Halévy was intermittently happy and produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, and published versions of his works were frequently revised and adapted by other hands. He founded no school and had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.

Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Antonio Rossini (Italian: [dʒoaˈkiːno anˈtɔːnjo rosˈsiːni] (listen); 29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some sacred music. He set new standards for both comic and serious opera before retiring from large-scale composition while still in his thirties, at the height of his popularity.

Born in Pesaro to parents who were both musicians (his father a trumpeter, his mother a singer), Rossini began to compose by the age of 12 and was educated at music school in Bologna. His first opera was performed in Venice in 1810 when he was 18 years old. In 1815 he was engaged to write operas and manage theatres in Naples. In the period 1810–1823 he wrote 34 operas for the Italian stage that were performed in Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Naples and elsewhere; this productivity necessitated an almost formulaic approach for some components (such as overtures) and a certain amount of self-borrowing. During this period he produced his most popular works including the comic operas L'italiana in Algeri, Il barbiere di Siviglia (known in English as The Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola, which brought to a peak the opera buffa tradition he inherited from masters such as Domenico Cimarosa. He also composed opera seria works such as Otello, Tancredi and Semiramide. All of these attracted admiration for their innovation in melody, harmonic and instrumental colour, and dramatic form. In 1824 he was contracted by the Opéra in Paris, for which he produced an opera to celebrate the coronation of Charles X, Il viaggio a Reims (later cannibalised for his first opera in French, Le comte Ory), revisions of two of his Italian operas, Le siège de Corinthe and Moïse, and in 1829 his last opera, Guillaume Tell.

Rossini's withdrawal from opera for the last 40 years of his life has never been fully explained; contributary factors may have been ill-health, the wealth his success had brought him, and the rise of spectacular Grand Opera under composers such as Giacomo Meyerbeer. From the early 1830s to 1855, when he left Paris and was based in Bologna, Rossini wrote relatively little. On his return to Paris in 1855 he became renowned for his musical salons on Saturdays, regularly attended by musicians and the artistic and fashionable circles of Paris, for which he wrote the entertaining pieces Péchés de vieillesse. Guests included Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Giuseppe Verdi, Meyerbeer and Joseph Joachim. Rossini's last major composition was his Petite messe solennelle (1863). He died in Paris in 1868.

Hakim (name)

Hakim or Al-Hakim (commonly Arabic: حكيم ḥakīm‎ "wise" or Arabic: حاکم ḥākem‎ "ruler") are a masculine given name.

Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ

Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ (10 June 1842 in Paris – 19 February 1923 in Paris) was an Orientalist French painter and sculptor. He was strongly influenced by the works and teachings of Charles Gleyre and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Lecomte du Nouÿ found inspiration for his art through extensive travels to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Italy. The thematic content of Lecomte du Nouÿ’s work was mainly figural, but also spanned over a vast range of imagery throughout his career, including classical, historical and religious.Lecomte du Nouÿ is known for remaining faithful to his detailed, realistic style throughout the extent of his career, despite the onset of the Impressionist, Fauvist and Constructivist artistic movements during his lifetime. His work is said to have contributed significantly to the establishment of an iconic repertoire representing the Orient in the nineteenth century. A Parisian street was named after him in 1932.

Livre du Saint-Sacrement

Le Livre du Saint-Sacrement ("The Book of the Blessed Sacrament") is a collection of pieces for organ on the subject of the Eucharist by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It was composed from 1984-1985 and first performed in 1986.

Messe des pauvres

The Messe des pauvres (Mass for the Poor) is a partial musical setting of the mass for mixed choir and organ by Erik Satie. Composed between 1893 and 1895, it is Satie's only liturgical work and the culmination of his "Rosicrucian" or "mystic" period. It was published posthumously in 1929. A performance lasts around 18 minutes.

Naji Hakim

Naji Subhy Paul Irénée Hakim (born 31 October 1955 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese-French organist, composer, and improviser. He studied under Jean Langlais, and succeeded Messiaen as organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris.

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen (French: [ɔlivje mɛsjɑ̃]; December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically he employs a system he called modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from the systems of material generated by his early compositions and improvisations. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

He travelled widely and wrote works inspired by diverse influences ranging from Japanese music, the landscape of Bryce Canyon in Utah and the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He said he perceived colours when he heard certain musical chords (a phenomenon known as synaesthesia in its literal manifestation); combinations of these colours, he said, were important in his compositional process. For a short period Messiaen experimented with the parametrisation associated with "total serialism", in which field he is often cited as an innovator. His style absorbed many global musical influences such as Indonesian gamelan (tuned percussion often features prominently in his orchestral works).

Messiaen entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 11 and was taught by Paul Dukas, Maurice Emmanuel, Charles-Marie Widor and Marcel Dupré, among others. He was appointed organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris, in 1931, a post held until his death. He taught at the Schola Cantorum de Paris during the 1930s. On the fall of France in 1940, Messiaen was made a prisoner of war, during which time he composed his Quatuor pour la fin du temps ("Quartet for the end of time") for the four available instruments—piano, violin, cello and clarinet. The piece was first performed by Messiaen and fellow prisoners for an audience of inmates and prison guards. He was appointed professor of harmony soon after his release in 1941, and professor of composition in 1966 at the Paris Conservatoire, positions he held until his retirement in 1978. His many distinguished pupils included Iannis Xenakis, George Benjamin, Alexander Goehr, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Yvonne Loriod, who became his second wife.

He found birdsong fascinating, notating bird songs worldwide and incorporating birdsong transcriptions into his music. His innovative use of colour, his conception of the relationship between time and music, and his use of birdsong are among the features that make Messiaen's music distinctive.

Southern Cathedrals Festival

The Southern Cathedrals Festival (known for short as "SCF") is a 5-day music festival held alternately at the cathedrals of Chichester, Winchester and Salisbury in England, in the penultimate week of July. The festival was restored in 1960 after initial attempts to create the annual occasion - such efforts led to 28 years without it. The directors of music act as festival director when it is their cathedral's turn to host the event - currently, they are Charles Harrison (Organist & Master of the Choristers, Chichester Cathedral), Andrew Lumsden (Organist and Director of Music, Winchester Cathedral) and David Halls (Director of Music, Salisbury Cathedral).

The Promised Land (Saint-Saëns)

The Promised Land, also La Terre Promise (Op. 140) is an English and later French-language oratorio by Camille Saint-Saëns for the Three Choirs Festival of 1913 and which the composer conducted at Gloucester Cathedral.Saint-Saëns had asked Herman Klein to arrange the Biblical text for an oratorio, commissioned by the English publisher Novello and originally called The Death of Moses, in 1887, for Norwich. The composer wrote to the librettist Klein that "Moise will probably be my last work. It must worthily crown my career!". However the Norwich authorities were unwilling to pledge themselves in advance to a work of unknown proportions and the project was shelved. In the winter of 1912 the composer took Klein's revised text to Cairo and finished setting it by 15 February 1913. It was then chosen by the Gloucester Festival for performance that year, in part due to Klein's advocacy.The French version was performed only once, at the inauguration of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in 1916. The oratorio, which requires organ and full orchestra and choir was not revived until 2004 with a performance by the Académie de Musique, an orchestra of 75 with and choir of 250 singers, at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris, under Jeanne Roth and Jean-Philippe Sarcos. A German version with text by Otto Neitzel, Das Gelobte Land, was published in 1914.

Théodore Ballu

Théodore Ballu (8 June 1817 - 22 May 1885) was a French architect who designed numerous public buildings in Paris . He is the father of the politician Roger Ballu and the grandfather of the industrialist and politician Guillaume Ballu.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.