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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » C » Couperin, Francois



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Francois Couperin (11/10/1668 - 9/11/1733)

François Couperin, known as le grand to distinguish him from an uncle of the same name, was the most distinguished of a numerous family of French musicians, officially succeeding his uncle and father as organist of the Paris church of St Gervais when he was 18. He enjoyed royal patronage under Louis XIV and in 1693 was appointed royal organist and, belatedly, royal harpsichordist. As a keyboard player and composer he was pre-eminent in France at the height of his career. He died in Paris in 1733.

Church Music

Couperin composed church music for the Royal Chapel under Louis XIV. The surviving Leçons de ténèbres are possibly the best example of this form of composition—settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah for the Holy Week liturgy. The first two of the three are for soprano solo and continuo (the vocal part of the second pitched slightly lower than that of the first), and the third is for two sopranos and continuo.

Chamber Music

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Discography


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