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.
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Description by James Reel
|2016||Loft Recordings||LRCD 1161|
|2008||MSR Classics||MS 1243|
|2007||Erato / Erato Disques||4699287|
|1993||RBW Records||CD 005|
|Fleur de Lis||0601|