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Nicolas de Grigny (1672 - 1703)

Born in Rheims, Nicolas de Grigny (1672–1703) succeeded his father and grandfather as organist of the cathedral there, after spending some time in Paris where he studied with Lebègue. He is a towering figure among composers of this school and his works are distinguished from the entire line of French organists by sheer superiority of intellect rivalled only by Bach. His elegant counterpoint, whether in fugues or cantus firmus movements, runs against the grain of fashion and stricture of the new non-polyphonic style. Like Bach, Grigny initiated no new forms but his music represents the culmination of his age and is of lasting significance. The Leipzig master considered him the equal of Frescobaldi and paid Grigny the supreme hommage of copying almost his entire output for his own use and study.


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