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Pastoral-Prelude

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The Gió Riverside


Uploaded by: Silchester (10/04/22)
Composer: Langlais, Jean
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Caen - St. Etienne Cavaillé Coll
Software: Hauptwerk VI
Genre: Contemporary
Description:
Jean Langlais was born on 15 February 1907 in La Fontenelle (Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany), a small village near Mont Saint-Michel, France. He became blind due to glaucoma when he was only two years old and was sent to the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute for Blind Children) in Paris, where he eventually began to study the organ, with André Marchal. From there he progressed to the Paris Conservatoire, obtaining prizes in organ and studying composition with Marcel Dupré and Paul Dukas. He also studied improvisation with Charles Tournemire.
After graduating, Langlais returned to the National Institute for Blind Children to teach. He taught at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1961 to 1976. Many of his students went on to become important musicians, including organists and composers.
It was as an organist that Langlais made his name, following in the footsteps of César Franck and Charles Tournemire as organiste titulaire at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris in 1945, a post in which he remained until 1988. He was much in demand as a concert organist, and widely toured across Europe and the United States.
He died on 08 May 1991 at the age of 84.
Langlais was a prolific composer, composing 254 works with opus numbers. Although best known as a composer of organ music and sacred choral music, he also composed a number of instrumental, orchestral and chamber works plus some secular song settings.
Langlais' music is written in a highly individual eclectic style, venturing well beyond what might be expected of mid-twentieth-century French music, with rich and complex harmonies and overlapping modes, sometimes more tonal than his contemporary, friend and countryman, Olivier Messiaen.
I was privileged to attend a Sunday afternoon recital in Notre Dame de Paris in May 1979. The recitalist was Jean Langlais and he was playing a program of his own compositions. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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