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Chacone : Work information

Armand-Louis Couperin ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Fran├žoise-Henri Houbart (Organ), Bernard Soustrot (Trumpet)

This work

Work name
Work number
G minor

This recording

Forlane CI
Ivan Pastor
Jean-Martial Golaz & Jean-Marc Laisne
Recording date

The Composers

Armand-Louis Couperin

One of the more obscure members of the Couperin dynasty, Armand-Louis seems, from the little we know about him, to have been a thoroughly agreeable family man who had little of the grasping ambitions of so many of his contemporaries. More famous for his organ improvisations, which marked him as one of the greatest organists of his time, than as a composer, much of Armand-Louis Couperin's music is curiously old-fashioned, though well-crafted.

Born in Paris on 25 Februrary 1727, Armand-Louis' musical education was probably provided for by his father and other relatives, though he may also have received instruction as a choirboy at St Gervais. Brought up by his father and a maidservant following the death of his mother when he was only 17 months, Armand-Louis inherited his father's position as organist at St Gervais at the age of 21.

In 1752, Armand-Louis married Elisabeth-Antoinette Blanchet, the daughter of a famous harpsichord maker, and of their four children, three lived to maturity and became musicians. The Couperins both gave harpsichord and organ lessons and presumably confined their musical activities to Paris, as no record of any journeys is known.

Of his music, the Simphonie de clavecins has been heralded for its novel approach to instrumentation, but otherwise, little of it is played regularly. Armand-Louis refused to write for the theatre and did not publish any of his church music, and seems to have been quite content as a provincial teacher and organist. He was killed at the age of 61 in a traffic accident while rushing from Vespers at the Ste Chapelle to St Gervais, where his son, Pierre-Louis, had already begun the service.

Track listing

  • 2:14 min