Dextera Domini

The two magnificent sacred compositions Dextera Domini and Panis Angelicus take us back to the pious César Franck.  The high value of the creations he wrote for the services at St. Clotilde made the church the most aristocratic parish in Paris, as noted by Abbé Pierre Ambroise Ameline, a priest in the church to whom the composer dedicated Dextera Domini. That was an unique gesture in his sacred music, in which we find no other dedications. Amelinе supported and encourages Franck in his desire to write for their church sublime music with expressive harmonies. “He showed great concern for the dignity of his art, for the nobility of his mission in the church, and for the passionate sincerity of his sonic preaching. Joyful or melancholy, solemn or mystical, powerful or ethereal: Frank was all of these things at St. Clotilde,” one of his students testified. For the contrast, the music performed at other Parisian temples was “dramatically sentimental and banal”.

The Dextera Domini was the last of the Three Offertories composed in 1861 – in effect an offertorial antiphon for Easter Sunday.

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