Suite Médiévale: A Guide for Interpretation and Performance (Honors)

Publication Date

Spring 2020


At the request of the author, this paper is not available for download. Bona fide researchers may consult it by visiting the University Archives in Tate Archives & Special Collections; contact archives@iwu.edu for details.


Jean Langlais’s Suite Médiévale is widely performed in church, academic, and concert settings across the United States. Yet American organists often lack the resources and cultural understanding needed to perform this piece effectively. To that end, the following chapters address pertinent issues regarding the analysis and performance of this work. The first chapter is a brief synopsis of Jean Langlais’s life as it pertains to this piece specifically. This is followed by a closer look at Langlais’s use of Gregorian chant in each of the five movements. Afterward is a complete theoretical analysis of the work which gives language to Langlais’s unique compositional voice. The final chapter pertains to issues of organ registration, specifically on American instruments. Two appendices are included for the reader’s reference: an exhaustive list of errata in the published score as well as the organ stoplist of Sainte Clotilde at the time Jean Langlais wrote this suite. The intent of this paper is to serve as a resource for organists to effectively study and perform Suite Médiévale.



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