Théodore-César Salomé (20 January 1834 – 26 July 1896) was born in Paris. He completed all of his musical studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, under the tutelage of François Bazin for harmony and accompaniment, and François Benoist for organ. He won several honorable awards, including: second prize in harmony (1855), second prize in organ and in harmony (1856), second and third prize in harmony and organ (1857), and second prize in harmony (1859). His cantata Atala was awarded the premier Second Grand Prix of the Prix de Rome in 1861. In the same year Théodore Dubois was awarded the first grand prize, and Eugène Anthiome and Titus Constantin won the deuxième Second Grand Prix. He was highly regarded, and served as "Choir Organist" at La Trinite in Paris for many years.
"Dix Pièces pour orgue ou pour piano à pédale, Deuxième Volume" was published by Leduc in 1879. The second piece in the collection is "Absoute". Liturgically speaking, the "Absoute" or Absolution of the dead is a series of prayers for pardon and remission of sins that are said in some Christian churches over the body of a deceased believer after the Requiem Mass, but before burial.
When Salomé died, his funeral Mass was held at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on Wednesday, July 22nd. (I did not realize that the anniversary had just passed.) The great Guilmant played the organ for the Mass, and "Absoute" was the 2nd piece he performed.
In essence, it has all the elements of the grand 19th century requiems, but in miniature. The work serves as both sincere prayer and solemn cortege.
The score is attached below, as well as the MIDI, and a picture of the church where the funeral was held.
I dedicate this with friendship to Leon1949Green (who had "wondered") about the piece, and it was for him that I found in and recorded it.
THANK YOU Leon, for ALL the caring friendship and support!
I realize this is a rather somber piece, but I think you will still enjoy it... :-)