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date: 12 November 2019

Berthier, Jacques locked

  • Andrew Wilson-Dickson

Extract

(b Auxerre, June 27, 1923; d Paris, June 27, 1994). French organist and composer. He first studied with his father, organist of Auxerre Cathedral, and later (1945–6) with Guy de Lioncourt (composition) and Edouard Souberbielle (organ, fugue, counterpoint) at the Ecole César Franck in Paris. In 1960 he moved to Paris as editor to the recording company Fleurus and in the same year was appointed organist of the Jesuit church of St Ignace, a position he held until his death.

From his youthful years onwards Berthier was consistently drawn to liturgical composition. His musical output includes settings of texts by Joseph Gelineau, the Jesuit liturgical scholar and composer who was to become the inspiration for much of his mature work; a Requiem, which blends Latin texts (chorus) with French (soloists) and is exceptional for its large scale; an important corpus of settings, for use in parish churches, of the revised, vernacular liturgy; and various contributions to monastic liturgy, particularly for the Roman Catholic communities of En-Calcat, Landévennec and Maredsous and, most notably, for the ecumenical community of ...

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