Langlais: Organ Music, Vol. 2

Album cover art for upc 5028421963617
Catalog: BRI96361

Caporali, Fausto; Perin, Alessandro; Benati, Giorgio

Blind from the age of two, a prodigiously gifted student, Jean Langlais (1907-91) produced an immense quantity of music. His organ works alone exceed in number those of JS Bach. Many have hardly ever been performed. Perhaps not more than half a dozen works are regularly played or recorded today, which is what makes this new complete survey of his organ music so invaluable, as the authoritative document of a high point in the distinguished lineage of the French organ heritage. The second volume of this complete survey opens with the third and last of his organ symphonies, among the most imposing and yet overlooked of his major works. More familiar are the Gregorian-inspired Suite medievale, the Triptyque, and the Triptyque Grégorien, whose flowing melodies share a spirit of Catholic mysticism with briefer meditations such as the Prière des Mages, the Incantation pour un Jour Saint, and the Palm-Sunday voluntary Dominica in Palmis. As a collection of character pieces, Mosaique shows off Langlais’s versatility, by turns solemn and joyful, songful and stormy. This sheer variety of form alone makes him stand out among French 20th-century composers for the organ. Throughout his life, Langlais wrote in many different styles and, true to his ideal, still retained the ability to surprise. This major project has been undertaken jointly by the Italian organists Giorgio Benati, Fausto Caporali, and Alessandro Perin. Benati is a former student of Langlais, and Caporali has a string of successful French organ recordings to his credit. They have made these new recordings on Italian instruments, lending Langlais an ‘Italian accent’ while faithfully observing his expressive and registration markings in his scores. Booklet notes for each piece have been written by Giorgio Benati.

Price: $40.98