François Couperin


The son of the organist at St Gervaise, Couperin took up the same post on his eighteenth birthday after deputising for Lalande.  His first major work was the collection Pieces d'orgue, comprising two organ masses.  In 1693 Louis XIV selected Couperin to play at his court where inspired by the work of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Arcangelo Corelli he began to write trio sonatas.  His royal connection allowed him further opportunities to travel and instruct the French nobility, and his teaching eventually led him to write his manual L'Art de toucher le clavecin, published in 1716.

Couperin published many collections of harpsichord music which attempted to unify the French and Italian styles, an aim many regarded with skepticism.  His work was nonetheless greatly influential and it kept him in high esteem at court into the reign of Louis XV.  Even long after his death he was paid tribute in works by Debussy, Ravel and Richard Strauss .

- MIDI FILE - "Les Papillons" (2'48'')

Show more