Jean Langlais (1907–1991) — Quatre préludes, op. 185 (1975) for organ
The French composer Jean Langlais (1907–1991) was born in La Fontenelle (near Mont Saint-Michel) and was educated at the National Institute for the Blind and the Paris Conservatory. He studied with André Marchal, Marcel Dupré, Paul Dukas, and Charles Tournemire. Langlais served as organiste titulaire of the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris from 1945 until 1988. He performed many recital tours throughout Europe and the United States, and taught at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1961 to 1976. As a composer, Langlais published hundreds of works, most of which are for the organ.
These four simple preludes were commissioned in 1975 by the Klavarskribo Foundation of the Netherlands for publication in its journal. Though exceptionally brief, they embody Langlais’s characteristic modal style in a microcosm.