Nicolas De Grigny


A leading composer of mid-Baroque organ music, Nicolas de Grigny was no innovator, but rather enriched and refined the traditional forms with a serious and skilful approach. J S Bach paid his music the ultimate tribute in copying it for his own study and use in 1713.

Grigny was born in Reims in 1672 into a family of organists and town musicians. From 1693 to 1695 he was organist at the abbey church of St Denis in Paris and studied with Lebègue, marrying a Parisian merchant's daughter in 1695. The first of their seven children were born the following year back in Reims and within a year, Gigny had become organist at the cathedral. He held this position until his death on 30 November 1703.

Grigny wrote choral music, but it's as a composer of organ music that he is best remembered. His works demand great facility on the pedals and exploit the contrasting colours available by use of manuals of different registration. He is perhaps best regarded as the summation of a tradition of classical French organ playing and composition.

Related composers: LebègueD'Anglebert, J S Bach

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