Jean Langlais


Born: February 15, 1907; La Fontenelle, France   Died: May 8, 1991; Paris, France   Period: 20th Century
Blind from the age of two, this composer, organist, and influential teacher 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
Read more 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.

Between 1961 and 1976, Langlais taught French and foreign students at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. His later compositions include choral and organ works and chamber pieces for trumpet. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 69 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Concerto Favorites / Chenault
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49305 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Marius Monnikendam,  Vincent D'Indy,  Joseph Jongen,  Felix Alexandre Guilmant  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Chenault
    CD: $24.99
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  • 2.
    The Complete Argo Recordings / The Choir of St. John's College Cambridge, Guest
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831252 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Otto Goldschmidt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Alastair Roberts,  Peter White,  George Guest,  Richard Lewis  ... 
    Conductor:  George Guest
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Brass  ... 
    CD: $127.99
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  • 3.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 4.
    O Sacrum Convivium! - French Sacred Choral Works / Nethsingha, St. John's College Choir
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10842 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Vierne,  Francis Poulenc,  Olivier Messiaen,  Jean Langlais
    Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
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  • 5.
    Out Of Darkness: Music From Lent To Trinity
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 409 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Henry Purcell,  Edward Bairstow,  Fernand Laloux  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Jesus College Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Solemn and Celebratory / Andrew Scanlon
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 947 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Cook,  Jean Langlais,  Jean Adam Guilain,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Scanlon
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 7.
    De Profundis: Sacred Repertoire For Male Choir
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2053 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyrillus Kreek,  René Eespere,  Andres Lemba,  Johan August Söderman  ... 
    Conductor:  Cecilia Rydinger Alin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orphei Drängar
    On sale! $21.99
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  • 8.
    Langlais: Missa Salve Regina, Etc / Hill, Westminster Choir
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55444 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Langlais
    Performer:  James O'Donnell,  Andrew Lumsden
    Conductor:  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra Brass Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 9.
    Virtuoso French Organ Music
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1147 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugene Gigout,  Jean Langlais,  Louis Vierne,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Jennifer Bate
    CD: $11.99
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  • 10.
    Anniversary Series - Organ Collection
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 302 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Samuel Sebastian Wesley  ... 
    Performer:  David Goode,  Joseph Nolan,  Simon Preston,  James Vivian  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 11.
    Variation / Carleton Etherington
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 176 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Reger,  Felix Alexandre Guilmant,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Jean Langlais
    Performer:  Carleton Etherington
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 12.
    Noel / Miller, Larmore, Cowan, Westminster Choir College Of Rider University
    Label: Westminster Choir College   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Traditional,  Paul-Henri Büsser,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore,  Ken Cowan
    Conductor:  Joe Miller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Eight Historic Pipe Organs Of The Copper Country / Christina Harmon
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 928 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean Sibelius,  Samuel Long,  Clarence Eddy  ... 
    Performer:  Christina Harmon
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 14.
    Vom Himmel Hoch / Ludwig Guttler, Virtuosi Saxoniae
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300146 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Johannes Eccard  ... 
    Performer:  Ludwig Güttler
    Conductor:  Ludwig Güttler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi Saxoniae
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    Adeste Fideles - Organ Music For Christmas / Thomas Laing-Reilly
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34077 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Thomas Best,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Bernhard Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Laing-Reilly
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  • 16.
    Langlais: Messe Solennelle / Allwood, Eton College Chapel Choir
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Roger-Ducasse,  Francis Poulenc,  Pierre Villette,  Marcel Dupré  ... 
    Performer:  David Goode
    Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eton College Chapel Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Christmas In The Grand Tradition / Conte, Philadelphia Brass
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49264 Release Date: 10/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaston-Marie Déthier,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Richard Conte
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Brass Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    My Dancing Day - Music For Christmas / Las Cantantes
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 980 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Jean Langlais,  Frederick Frahm,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Claudia Giese,  Jeff Cornelius,  Lynn Gorman Develder,  Iain Quinn
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 19.
    The Gregorian Organ / Mark Williams
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7225 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jehan-Ariste Alain,  Nicholas de Grigny  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Williams,  Blake Applegate,  Karl Blume,  Oliver Mercer
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 20.
    Dove: The Three Kings;  Howells, Bax, Tavener, Reger, Etc / Nicholas, Et Al
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34047 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Jackson,  Eric Whitacre,  Arnold Bax,  Philip Wilby  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Nicholas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 11631 Release Date: 10/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Winfried Petersen,  Marcel Dupré,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Winfried Petersen
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 22.
    Noels Francais D'orgue / Elke Volker
    Label: Aeolus   Catalog: 10401 Release Date: 09/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Alexandre Guilmant,  Jean Langlais,  Paul de Maleingreau,  Joseph Guy Ropartz  ... 
    Performer:  Elke Volker
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 23.
    Organ Concert / Michael Christfried Winkler
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 20022 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Jean Langlais,  Charles Ives
    Performer:  Michael-Christfried Winkler,  Elisabeth Wilke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Kreuz Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Grands Jeux / Rupert Gough
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 272 Release Date: 06/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Dominique Pasquet,  Guy Morançon,  Jehan-Ariste Alain,  Jean Langlais
    Performer:  Rupert Gough
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 25.
    Bach, Buxtehude, Etc / Ludwig Guttler, Friedrich Kircheis
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1621 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-B Loeillet,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Alcock, John, Sr.,  Johann Ludwig Krebs  ... 
    Performer:  Ludwig Güttler,  Friedrich Kircheis
    CD: $19.99
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