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Sunday’s Worship Music

The Organ Voluntary
Hymn of Thanksgiving: Te Deum
Jean Langlais

8:30 Offering
Song of Peace
Jean Langlais

11:00 Motet
More Love
Sid Davis

THIS MORNING’S ORGAN VOLUNTARY is Jean Langlais’ (1907-1991) remarkable vision based on the Gregorian chant appointed to the Te Deum, an ancient hymn of praise dating to 272 A.D.: “We praise Thee O God; we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee….” The work begins with the Gregorian melody heard phrase by phrase in octaves, each answered by Langlais’ interpolations in his extraordinary harmonic language. The middle section finds the chant melody woven into a fantasy-like texture which builds to an exultive, climactic finale. Blind from birth, Langlais developed himself into an internationally-renowned concert artist and was organist of the Basilica of St. Clotilde in Paris (a position once held by César Franck). His music’s angular demeanor and piquant, dramatic harmonies made him a leader in the modern French school of composition. Te Deum is a superb example of Langlais’ improvisatory and highly virtuoso style.