Tomorrow, December 8th, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief in the sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, celebrated on September 8. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar.
Henri Édouard Dallier (20 March 1849 – 21 December 1934) was born in Reims. He studied organ with César Franck at the Conservatoire de Paris and obtained First prize in organ and fugue in 1878. He became "titulaire du grand orgue" of Saint-Eustache in 1879 and in 1905 he succeeded Gabriel Fauré as the organist of la Madeleine.
The hymn, "Ave maris stella" is not "for" the Immaculate Conception. However, it is a well-known and popular Marian hymn, and I'm getting pretty low on "Marian pieces," so, here we are. :-)
Dallier's setting is for organ or harmonium. I always find it difficult to "translate" these harmonium works to the organ, as it's pretty hard to decide "how" to do it. What I did here seemed to be the best way to me, but there are many other ways that it can be done.
The work is dark and modal, but sings with impassioned lines and harmonies, beginning softly and culminating on the "full organ".
The full organ that I arrive at is nowhere near the actual full organ, which I think would be way out of proportion.
The text of the first two verses of the hymn are given in the First Comment.
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Henri Dallier, and the magnificent St. Eustache and the Church of the Madeleine, where he served as organist.
Also attached is a picture of Francesco Rizi's 17th century painting of "The Immaculate Conception".