On our third visit to Saint-Sulpice we attended Sunday Mass and listened to the magnificent organ, which at one time was the largest in Europe. The Mass itself was also a special one: a large group of children received their First Communion at the Mass.
The original organ was built in 1781 by Francois-Henri Clicquot and was reconstructed in 1862 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The organ features 102 stops, about half new and half reused from Clicquot. It also has five keyboards and nearly 7,000 pipes.
There have been a long list of famous organists at Saint-Sulpice, including Louis Nicholas Sehan, Charles-Marie Widor and Marcel Dupre. Albert Schweitzer, a student of Widor, called the organ the most beautiful in the world. The titular organist today (and since 1985) is Daniel Roth.
There is usually a 15 minute recital preceding the High Mass every Sunday and a 35 minute mini-concert following the Mass. There is also a full concert one Sunday afternoon a month at 4 o’clock.
Roth wasn’t around the day we attended but the music performed by assistant titular organist Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin was superb! We noticed that most of the people who attended Mass stayed on to listen to what they call an “audition.”
Here are some more shots of the interior of Saint-Sulpice. Some of these were taken during during our prior visits.
After the mini-concert we loitered for awhile outside the church on Place Saint-Sulpice, something we were not able to do on our first visit when it was pouring.