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Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Jean Langlais, composerBlind from the age of two, Jean Langlais was a composer, organist, and influential teacher who studied at the Institution des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute for the Young Blind) in Paris. Langlais' harmony teacher was Albert Mahaut, a former pupil of César Franck. He studied piano with Blazy and organ with André Marchal, who was also blind. In 1930, Langlais won the premier prix in organ in Marcel Dupré's class at the National Conservatory. In 1934, he won a composition prize in Paul Dukas' class and, like Messiaen, was one of the composer's last students. Langlais studied improvisation with Charles Tournemire and received the Grand Prix d'Exécution et Improvisation des Amis de l'Orgue in 1931. He became organist for St. Pierre de Montrouge. During this time, Langlais composed his first works, the organ pieces Trois poèmes évangéliques (1932) and the 24 Pièces (1933-1939). In 1945, he joined the staff of the Institution des Jeunes Aveugles, where he was to remain for 40 years teaching and conducting the choir. Following in the steps of Franck and Tournemire, he became a professor at the prestigious organ tribune of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, a position he held for the next 42 years. His immediate postwar compositions include the organ suites, his first Organ Concerto with orchestra (1949), and the famous choral Messe solennelle (1951), one of 13 masses composed by Langlais. The other most performed masses are the Missa in Simplicitate for chorus and organ (1953) and the impressive Missa Salve Regina for three solo vocalists, unison chorus, two organs, and eight brass (1954). The vast majority of Langlais' 254 compositions are on religious themes, although there are several concertos, organ symphonies, and individual secular pieces. Many pieces incorporate Gregorian themes that are varied with great originality and surrounded with expressive and splendid modal harmonies. In 1952, Langlais visited the United States for the first time and proceeded to give approximately 300 recitals and hold many master classes there in the succeeding years. He composed numerous pieces for Americans, including an American Suite for organ (1959) and his Solemn Mass "Orbis factor" for chorus and organ, which was premiered in Washington, D.C., in 1969.
-  "Blue Gene" Tyranny, All Music Guide

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Langlais Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Prelude et fugue, organ (1927)
Tantum Ergo, chorus and organ (1931)
Deux Chansons de Clément Marot, chorus (1931)
Poèmes Evangéliques, organ (1932)
Trois Paraphrases Grégoriennes, organ (1933–34)
Messe d'Escalquens, 2 voices and organ (1935)
Pièce en forme libre, string quartet or string orchestra and organ (1935)
Symphonie concertante, cello and orchestra (1936)
Mouvement perpétuel, piano (1936)
Choral Médiéval, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and organ (1937)
Ligne, cello (1937)
Suite Bretonne, string orchestra (1938)
Suite armoricaine, piano (1938)
Vingt–Quatre Pièces pour harmonium ou orgue en 2 volumes, organ (1933–39)
Tantum Ergo, 8 voices and organ (1940)
Première Symphonie, organ (1941)
O Salutaris, 2 female voices and organ (1941)
Cinq Motets, 2 voices and organ (1932-42)
Deux Pièces, flute and piano (1942)
Neuf Pièces, organ (1942–43)
Deux Offertoires pour tous les temps, organ (1943)
Déploration, chorus and organ (1943)
Suite concertante, violin and cello (1943)
Trois Danses, wind orchestra, percussion and piano (1944)
Fête, organ (1946)
Suite Brève, organ (1947)
Suite Médiévale, organ (1947)
La Ville d’Ys, chorus (or voice) and piano (1947)
Suite Française, organ (1948)
Libera, chorus and organ (1948)
Premier Concerto, organ or piano and orchestra (1948-49)
Incantation pour un Jour Saint, organ (1949)
Messe Solennelle, chorus and organ or orchestra (1949)
Trois Prières, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1949)
Four Postludes, organ (1950)
Hommage à Frescobaldi, organ (1951)
Folkloric Suite, organ (1952)
Messe en style ancien, chorus (w/optional organ) (1952)
Missa in Simplicitate, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1952)
Caritas Christi, chorus and organ [or orchestra] (1953)
Dominica in Palmis, organ (1954)
Missa Salve Regina, 3 equal voices, congregation, 2 organs, 3 trumpets and 5 trombones (1954)
Trois Chansons populaires bretonnes, 4 female voices (1954)
Cinq Mélodies, voice and piano (1954)
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, chorus, congregation and organ (1955)
Huit Pièces Modales, organ (1956)
Organ Book, organ (1956)
Triptyque, organ (1956)
Dieu, nous avons vu ta Gloire, chorus, congregation and organ (1956)
Office pour la Sainte Famille, organ (1957)
Office pour la Sainte Trinité, organ (1957)
Venite et audite, chorus (1958)
Missa Misericordiae Domini, chorus and organ (1958)
Regina Caeli, 2 equal voices and organ (1958)
Sacerdos et Pontifex (Tu es Petrus), 1 voice and organ, w/2 trumpets ad lib. (1959)
Sept Noëls populaires anciens, chorus and organ/piano (1960)
Essai, organ (1961)
Neuf chansons Folkloriques, unison chorus and piano, w/contralto and baritone optional (1961)
Deux Chansons populaires de Haute–Bretagne, chorus (1961)
A la claire fontaine, 6 voices a capella (1961)
Deuxième Concerto, organ and string orchestra (1961)
Trois Méditations sur la Sainte Trinité, organ (1962)
Douze Petites Pièces pour orgue ou harmonium, organ (1962)
Psaume Solennel n°1 (Laudate Dominum), chorus, congregation, organ 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and timp ad lib. (1962)
Offertoire pour l'Office de Sainte-Claire, 3 equal voices (1962)
Psaume Solennel n°2 (Miserere Mei), chorus, congregation, organ, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and timbales ad lib. (1963)
Psaume Solennel n°3 (Laudate Dominum de caelis), chorus, congregation, organ, 2 trpts, 2 trom and timp ad lib. (1964)
Poem of Life, organ (1965)
Messe "Dieu prends pitié", chorus (or 1 voice) and organ (1965)
Messe "Joie sur terre", 1 voice and organ (1965)
Poem of Peace, organ (1966)
Poem of Happiness, organ (1966)
Sonate en trio, organ (1967)
Carillons, handbells (1967)
Livre Œcuménique, organ (1968)
Deux Pièces, organ (1968)
Three Voluntaries, organ (1969)
Solemn Mass "Orbis factor", chorus, congregation and organ (w/brass ad lib.) (1969)
Festival–Alleluia, chorus and organ (1969)
Cortège, 2 organs, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and timbales ad lib. (1969)
Trois Implorations, organ (1970)
Cinq Chorals, organ (1971)
Offrande à Marie, organ (1971)
Troisième Concerto, "Réaction", organ, string orchestra and timpani (1971)
Pièce, trumpet (or oboe or flute) and organ/harpsichord (1971)
Sept Chorals, trumpet (or oboe or flute) and organ/piano/harpsichord (1972)
Cinq Méditations sur l’Apocalypse, organ (1973)
Suite Baroque, organ (1973)
Te Deum, chorus, organ, trumpet and timpani ad lib. (1973)
Trois Oraisons, 1 voice or unison chorus, organ and flute (or violin) (1973)
Huit Chants de Bretagne, organ (1974)
Diptyque, piano or organ (1974)
Vocalise, voice and piano (1974)
Cinq Pièces, flute (or violin) and piano/harpsichord/organ (1974)
Trois Esquisses Romanes pour un ou deux orgues, organ (1975)
Trois Esquisses Gothiques pour un ou deux orgues, organ (1975)
Gloire à toi Marie, 3 female voices or chorus and organ (1975)
Mosaïque 1, organ (1976)
Mosaïque 2, organ (1976)
Deuxième Symphonie " alla Webern ", organ (1976)
Sonatine, trumpet and piano/organ (1976)
Mosaïque 3, organ (1977)
Psaume 111 (Beatus vir), chorus and organ (1977)
Triptyque Grégorien, organ (1978)
Progression, organ (1978)
Trois Noëls, organ (1979)
Offrande à une âme, organ (1979)
Troisième Symphonie, organ (1979)
Corpus Christi (6 pièces), chorus and organ (1979)
Rosace, organ (1980)
Chant des bergers – Prière des mages, organ (1981)
Prélude et allegro, organ (1982)
Dans ma faiblesse; L’aube se lèvera, chorus and organ (1982)
Pastorale et rondo, 2 trumpets and organ (1982)
Soleils, organ (1983)
Sept Etudes de Concert pour pédale solo, organ (1983)
Petite Rhapsodie, flute and piano (1983)
Deux Pièces brèves, organ (1984)
Huit Préludes, organ (1984)
Miniature II, organ (1984)
Talitah Koum, organ (1985)
Trois Pièces faciles, organ (1985)
B.A.C.H (6 pièces), organ (1985)
American Folk–Hymn Settings, organ (1985)
In Memoriam, organ (1985)
Petite Suite, piano (1985)
Douze Versets, organ (1986)
Hommage à Rameau, organ (1986)
Expressions (15 pièces), organ (1986)
Fantasy on Two Old Scottish Themes, organ (1986)
Neuf Pièces, trumpet and organ (1986)
Ubi Caritas, chorus and organ (1986)
Trumpet Tune, organ (1987)
Mouvement, flute (or oboe or violin) and keyboard (1987)
Vitrail, clarinet and piano (1987)
Trois Antiennes à la Sainte Vierge (Drei Marianische Antiphone), voice or unison chorus and organ (1987)
Christmas Carol Hymn Settings, organ (1988)
Contrastes, organ (1988)
Etudes, for 1, 2 and 4 cellos (1989)
Ceremony pour cuivres (brass) (6 trumpets, 4 trombones, 2 tubas or 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba) (1989)
Séquences, flute (1989)
Etudes, for 1, 2 and 4 cellos (1989)
Mort et Résurrection, organ (1990)
Moonlight Scherzo, organ (1990)
Trois Offertoires, organ (1990)
Suite in Simplicitate, organ (1990)
Trio, organ (1990)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Langlais Links     ~ top of page ~
Orchestra
Pièce en forme libre, string quartet or string orchestra and organ (1935)
Suite Bretonne, string orchestra (1938)
Trois Danses, wind orchestra, percussion and piano (1944)

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Symphonie concertante, cello and orchestra (1936)
Premier Concerto, organ or piano and orchestra (1948-49)
Deuxième Concerto, organ and string orchestra (1961)
Troisième Concerto, "Réaction", organ, string orchestra and timpani (1971)

Chorus w/Orchestra
Messe Solennelle, chorus and organ or orchestra (1949)
Caritas Christi, chorus and organ [or orchestra] (1953)

Choral
Tantum Ergo, chorus and organ (1931)
Deux Chansons de Clément Marot, chorus (1931)
Déploration, chorus and organ (1943)
La Ville d’Ys, chorus (or voice) and piano (1947)
Libera, chorus and organ (1948)
Trois Prières, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1949)
Messe Solennelle, chorus and organ or orchestra (1949)
Messe en style ancien, chorus (w/optional organ) (1952)
Missa in Simplicitate, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1952)
Caritas Christi, chorus and organ [or orchestra] (1953)
Missa Salve Regina, 3 equal voices, congregation, 2 organs, 3 trumpets and 5 trombones (1954)
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, chorus, congregation and organ (1955)
Dieu, nous avons vu ta Gloire, chorus, congregation and organ (1956)
Venite et audite, chorus (1958)
Missa Misericordiae Domini, chorus and organ (1958)
Sept Noëls populaires anciens, chorus and organ/piano (1960)
Neuf chansons Folkloriques, unison chorus and piano, w/contralto and baritone optional (1961)
Deux Chansons populaires de Haute–Bretagne, chorus (1961)
Psaume Solennel n°1 (Laudate Dominum), chorus, congregation, organ 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and timp ad lib. (1962)
Offertoire pour l'Office de Sainte-Claire, 3 equal voices (1962)
Psaume Solennel n°2 (Miserere Mei), chorus, congregation, organ, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and timbales ad lib. (1963)
Psaume Solennel n°3 (Laudate Dominum de caelis), chorus, congregation, organ, 2 trpts, 2 trom and timp ad lib. (1964)
Messe "Dieu prends pitié", chorus (or 1 voice) and organ (1965)
Solemn Mass "Orbis factor", chorus, congregation and organ (w/brass ad lib.) (1969)
Festival–Alleluia, chorus and organ (1969)
Te Deum, chorus, organ, trumpet and timpani ad lib. (1973)
Trois Oraisons, 1 voice or unison chorus, organ and flute (or violin) (1973)
Gloire à toi Marie, 3 female voices or chorus and organ (1975)
Psaume 111 (Beatus vir), chorus and organ (1977)
Corpus Christi (6 pièces), chorus and organ (1979)
Dans ma faiblesse; L’aube se lèvera, chorus and organ (1982)
Ubi Caritas, chorus and organ (1986)
Trois Antiennes à la Sainte Vierge (Drei Marianische Antiphone), 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1987)

Chamber
Pièce en forme libre, string quartet or string orchestra and organ (1935)
Choral Médiéval, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and organ (1937)
Suite concertante, violin and cello (1943)
Carillons, handbells (1967)
Cortège, 2 organs, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and timbales ad lib. (1969)
Pastorale et rondo, 2 trumpets and organ (1982)
Etudes, for 1, 2 and 4 cellos (1989)
Ceremony pour cuivres (brass) (6 trumpets, 4 trombones, 2 tubas or 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba) (1989)

Solo Instrument
Ligne, cello (1937)
Deux Pièces, flute and piano (1942)
Pièce, trumpet (or oboe or flute) and organ/harpsichord (1971)
Sept Chorals, trumpet (or oboe or flute) and organ/piano/harpsichord (1972)
Cinq Pièces, flute (or violin) and piano/harpsichord/organ (1974)
Sonatine, trumpet and piano/organ (1976)
Petite Rhapsodie, flute and piano (1983)
Neuf Pièces, trumpet and organ (1986)
Mouvement, flute (or oboe or violin) and keyboard (1987)
Vitrail, clarinet and piano (1987)
Séquences, flute (1989)
Etudes, for 1, 2 and 4 cellos (1989)

Organ
Prelude et fugue, organ (1927)
Poèmes Evangéliques, organ (1932)
Trois Paraphrases Grégoriennes, organ (1933–34)
Vingt–Quatre Pièces pour harmonium ou orgue en 2 volumes, organ (1933–39)
Première Symphonie, organ (1941)
Neuf Pièces, organ (1942–43)
Deux Offertoires pour tous les temps, organ (1943)
Fête, organ (1946)
Suite Brève, organ (1947)
Suite Médiévale, organ (1947)
Suite Française, organ (1948)
Incantation pour un Jour Saint, organ (1949)
Four Postludes, organ (1950)
Hommage à Frescobaldi, organ (1951)
Folkloric Suite, organ (1952)
Dominica in Palmis, organ (1954)
Huit Pièces Modales, organ (1956)
Organ Book, organ (1956)
Triptyque, organ (1956)
Office pour la Sainte Famille, organ (1957)
Office pour la Sainte Trinité, organ (1957)
Essai, organ (1961)
Trois Méditations sur la Sainte Trinité, organ (1962)
Douze Petites Pièces pour orgue ou harmonium, organ (1962)
Poem of Life, organ (1965)
Poem of Peace, organ (1966)
Poem of Happiness, organ (1966)
Sonate en trio, organ (1967)
Livre Œcuménique, organ (1968)
Deux Pièces, organ (1968)
Three Voluntaries, organ (1969)
Trois Implorations, organ (1970)
Cinq Chorals, organ (1971)
Offrande à Marie, organ (1971)
Cinq Méditations sur l’Apocalypse, organ (1973)
Suite Baroque, organ (1973)
Huit Chants de Bretagne, organ (1974)
Trois Esquisses Romanes pour un ou deux orgues, organ (1975)
Trois Esquisses Gothiques pour un ou deux orgues, organ (1975)
Mosaïque 1, organ (1976)
Mosaïque 2, organ (1976)
Deuxième Symphonie " alla Webern ", organ (1976)
Mosaïque 3, organ (1977)
Triptyque Grégorien, organ (1978)
Progression, organ (1978)
Trois Noëls, organ (1979)
Offrande à une âme, organ (1979)
Troisième Symphonie, organ (1979)
Rosace, organ (1980)
Chant des bergers – Prière des mages, organ (1981)
Prélude et allegro, organ (1982)
Soleils, organ (1983)
Sept Etudes de Concert pour pédale solo, organ (1983)
Deux Pièces brèves, organ (1984)
Huit Préludes, organ (1984)
Miniature II, organ (1984)
Talitah Koum, organ (1985)
Trois Pièces faciles, organ (1985)
B.A.C.H (6 pièces), organ (1985)
American Folk–Hymn Settings, organ (1985)
In Memoriam, organ (1985)
Douze Versets, organ (1986)
Hommage à Rameau, organ (1986)
Expressions (15 pièces), organ (1986)
Fantasy on Two Old Scottish Themes, organ (1986)
Trumpet Tune, organ (1987)
Christmas Carol Hymn Settings, organ (1988)
Contrastes, organ (1988)
Mort et Résurrection, organ (1990)
Moonlight Scherzo, organ (1990)
Trois Offertoires, organ (1990)
Suite in Simplicitate, organ (1990)
Trio, organ (1990)

Piano
Mouvement perpétuel, piano (1936)
Suite armoricaine, piano (1938)
Diptyque, piano or organ (1974)
Petite Suite, piano (1985)

Vocal
Messe d'Escalquens, 2 voices and organ (1935)
Tantum Ergo, 8 voices and organ (1940)
O Salutaris, 2 female voices and organ (1941)
Cinq Motets, 2 voices and organ (1932-42)
La Ville d’Ys, chorus, or voice and piano (1947)
Trois Prières, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1949)
Missa in Simplicitate, 1 voice or unison chorus and organ (1952)
Trois Chansons populaires bretonnes, 4 female voices (1954)
Cinq Mélodies, voice and piano (1954)
Regina Caeli, 2 equal voices and organ (1958)
Sacerdos et Pontifex (Tu es Petrus), 1 voice and organ, w/2 trumpets ad lib. (1959)
A la claire fontaine, 6 voices a capella (1961)
Offertoire pour l'Office de Sainte-Claire, 3 equal voices (1962)
Messe "Dieu prends pitié", chorus or 1 voice and organ (1965)
Messe "Joie sur terre", 1 voice and organ (1965)
Trois Oraisons, 1 voice or unison chorus, organ and flute (or violin) (1973)
Vocalise, voice and piano (1974)
Gloire à toi Marie, 3 female voices or chorus and organ (1975)
Trois Antiennes à la Sainte Vierge (Drei Marianische Antiphone), voice or unison chorus and organ (1987)


LANGLAIS  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Celebrating the Sacred Music of Jean Langlais (Retta Blaney, National Catholic Reporter)
The Life and Music of Jean Langlais (DVD) (Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guide of Organists)
Sermon on the Life and Music of Jean Langlais (Colin Spinks)

Composer's website

Langlais @ Wikipedia
Langlais @ Answers.com
Langlais @ Association of the Friends of Jean Langlais
Langlais @ Classic Cat
Langlais @ Classical Archives
Langlais @ Classical Composers Database
Langlais @ Classical Net
Langlais @ ClassicsToday
Langlais @ DSO Kids (Dallas Symphony Orchestra)
Langlais @ Karadar Classical Music
Langlais @ Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guide of Organists
Langlais @ MusicWeb International
Langlais @ NationMaster
Langlais @ Naxos
Langlais @ The New York Times
Langlais @ SpeedyLook
Langlais @ spiritus-temporis.com

Streaming Audio
Langlais @ The Classical MIDI Connection
Langlais @ Classical Archives
Langlais @ last.fm
Langlais @ Rhapsody

Recordings
Langlais @ ArkivMusic
Langlais @ ClassicsOnline

Langlais @ YouTube

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