the full score of the cantata for voices and orchestra, notated in dark brown ink on up to twenty-six staves per page, with solo parts for "St François" (tenor) and "Le Crucifix" [ie "Jésus"] (bass), with four-part male chorus and orchestra, including harp and organ, comprising two movements, "Le Cellule" (signed and dated at the end: "25 août/ 89") and "La Mort", with a revised ending to the first movement inserted on different paper, alterations to the orchestration and additional markings by the composer in blue crayon (some not recorded in the contemporary copy in Paris), including rehearsal numbers (not letters), careful erasures, corrections and alterations,
75 pages, folio (c.35 x 27cm), including title, mainly 26-stave paper, written on rectos only, 9 pages inserted on 24-stave paper at the end of part one, written on rectos and versos (from bar 224 to the end is paginated 33bis to 35 bis), fine contemporary brown panelled morocco by Gruel, embossed rolls and fillets in light and dark brown, elaborate gilt initial "C" central feature, gilt turn-ins, spine lettered and signed in gilt, brown-gilt silk doublures, maroon silk chemise, slipcase, [Paris], 1889-1891
The contemporary manuscript score in Paris was evidently copied from this manuscript after the nine revised pages at the end of "le Cellule" were inserted. Unlike here, there is no break in the distinctive paper-type in the Paris manuscript, which uses 26-stave paper throughout. This cantata comprises two "tableaux", the first portraying St Francis's ecstasy at the foot of the Cross and his dialogue with Jesus, and the second narrating the death of the saint himself. Gounod presented this manuscript to the leading portrait painter of his era, Carolus-Duran, who later made a fine posthumous portrait of the composer, now at Versailles. The fine "retrospective" binding signed "Gruel" (for Léon Gruel or his atelier), contains Carolus-Duran's initial as a central feature.
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