Jean Langlais (1907 - 1991)
French organist from Brittany who became blind at the age of three. Studied at the Institute for the Blind in Paris and then with Dupre and Tournemire. Eventually he became organist at St. Clotilde, where Tournemire and Franck had been organists.
Inspired by medieval works, gregorian chant and Breton folk songs.
This work is from his 24 pieces and calls for a Cornet or Hautbois in one hand and Bourdon in the other. Used here is both the Cornet and Basson-Hautbois of the Recit and Bourdon and Flute Harmonique of the Great. A section calls for Gambe only this was done using the Saliconal of the Positif.
He is a very fascinating character. I've been reading Ann Labounsky's biography of him. Certainly worth reading if you want to know more of this fascinating character who was self-centered, enjoyed extra-marital affairs to get his musical inspiration (with permission from church and wife!) and who was very dedicated to promoting French music and culture throughout America, while teaching many organ students. He was also, despite all his flaws, a deeply spiritual man. Well worth a read.
I went through a period of about a year to eighteen months where I couldn't get enough Langlais. Then I couldn't stand it - every time the album came on in the car I'd skip past it. I am now getting back in to his works: I guess it depends what mood you are in and this piece (or even any Langlais!) won't be to everyone's liking I'm sure but hope you enjoy.