Langlais, Jean

LANGLAIS: Suite Medievale, Cinq Meditations sur l'Apocalypse

Mathieu, Bruno
nr katalogowy
With his Cinq Méditations Langlais finds a partial affinity with Messiaen, although his writing is infinitely more direct and his theological conclusion, unlike Messiaen’s totally nihilistic. His inspiration to compose the Méditations sprang from a severe heart attack in 1973, which brought the composer up sharply to confront his mortality, and his response was to read and re-read The Revelation of St John the Divine and to give expression to five of the meditations in musical terms, allotting each a title on his score. It is an extraordinary vision and one seemingly founded in despair. The organ registrations here are extraordinarily bizarre, the picaresque grotesquerie wholly original; and it ends the work in a cruel, pessimistic nightmare.

By its side, the Suite Médiévale is comparatively innocuous. It too is religious, gathering all the Gregorian themes of the Roman Catholic Mass together into a musical entity of five sections. So these two remarkable works balance each other in their opposing responses to Christian belief. Performances and recordings are of the highest quality.• Penguin Guide, January 2009
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LANGLAIS: Suite Medievale, Cinq Meditations sur l'Apocalypse

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