chapter  4
21 Pages

The Solesmes Crisis of 1893

ByKatharine Ellis

The significance of the resulting error takes us to the heart of internal politics at Solesmes. The constitutional change precipitated by the 1893 crisis institutionalized Pothier's alienation from his former life except on such terms as Solesmes might dictate – even after he, too, became an abbot, in 1898. Between 1898 and 1900 Solesmes published four livraisons of organ accompaniments to chants for the Ordinary of the Mass, Vespers, and the Requiem Mass, the project being undertaken reluctantly, as the preface made crystal clear, in the name of popular dissemination. It is an indication of the sensitivity of the situation that there should have been such concern, at Solesmes, to find the appropriate management strategy for introducing Dom Mocquereau's divergence from the traditions established by Dom Pothier, and such fear of critique from the side of the 'rats'.