“Shining rays stream from the ‘Messe de sainte Cécile‘. At first people were dazzled, then bewitched, then overcome.” This is how the composer Camille Saint-Saëns described his impression of what was probably Charles Gounod’s best-known setting of the mass. The work written in 1855 in honor of the patron saint of church music, soon became well-known beyond the borders of France and acquired a degree of popularity like almost no other sacred composition. In the Messe de sainte Cécile, Gounod combines sublime simplicity with operatic-dramatic elements and a colorful, effective orchestration. Critical edition in proven Carus quality.