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Jean Langlais (1907-1991) gave each of his Seven Etudes for Pedal Solo a title, depicting some sort musical concept. The exception was the seventh, simply titled “Alleluia.” Beginning with a section of sweeping sequences that cadence on a chord designed conveniently for the feet, the organist’s fluid heel-to-toe agility must prevail. A simple melody in octaves emerges and proceeds for a while, until it appears to impatiently break down into jagged gestures and dissonances. After further glissandos and tone clusters, the study ends in grandiose fashion on a consonant cadence, finally with a little help from the hands upon the keyboard.

-Gregg Wager is a composer and critic. He is author of Symbolism as a Compositional Method in the Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has a PhD in musicology from the Free University Berlin and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.