Jehan Alain

Postlude pour l'Office de Complies, for organ, JA 29 (AWV 13)

    Description by James Reel

    According to his sister Marie-Claire, young Jehan Alain loved to go with his family to the Abbey of Valloires and its lovely rococo chapel for the Office of Compline, sung at night by candlelight by women. This postlude was an effort to prolong the feeling he got from that service. Inspired by the free rhythm of the Gregorian chant he borrowed for this piece, Alain used irregular divisions within the bar lines, thus giving the music a sense of rhythmic liberty. Befitting its nocturnal setting, the postlude establishes a berceuse rhythm over which flit fragments of Gregorian chant that pass among the manuals and occasionally engage each other in conversation. The first melody heard is Miserere mei, Domine, which gives way to Te lucis ante terminum. Next, found lurking in the bass, is In manus tuas, which, after a few more phrases of Te lucis, ascends to the treble. More melodies file past: Salve nos, Domine and then Gloria Patri et Filio, the whole brief fantasy capped by a series of Amens.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94233
    2011 Simax 1314
    2009 Ars Musici 232260
    2008 MSR Classics MS 1243
    2007 Erato / Erato Disques 4699287
    2006 Motette 11311
    2005 Raven 770
    2004 Raven 690
    2001 Erato 85773
    1998 Nimbus 5551
    1997 Naxos 553633
    1996 Gallo 850
    1993 Priory Records 228
    1993 RBW Records CD 005
    1993 Arion 68148
    Fleur de Lis 0601
    REM 311229
    Erato
    Meridian Records 84282
    K 617 7005