Today, March 25th is the Annunciation (from Latin annuntiatio), also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord. It ist the celebration of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking His Incarnation.
André Gouin (27 May 1889 — 22 November 1959) was born in Fontenay-le-Comte, he died in Poitiers where he taught at the Institution des Aveugles; he was also organist at Saint-Hilaire church for 50 years.
"L'Annonciation" is the first movement in the composer's "Triptyque," published in October 1937, and found in "L'Organiste."
The work is calm and gentle, as fitting to the scene of the young Mary, who is often depicted at her spinning wheel. The work is based largely upon the proper chant for the Introit of the day, and there is some interesting tonalities.
The work is dedicated "à Monsieur l’abbé Courtonne, organiste de la cathédrale de Nantes".
The piece is inspired by the Angelus, a devotional prayer said several times each day. Part of the prayer is given at the start of the piece:
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Saint-Hilaire church, and of the la cathédrale de Nantes.
Also included are some famous paintings depicting the scene of the Annunciation.
By the way, Christmas Day is only 9 months away... ;-)