François Couperin

b. Paris, November 10, 1668
d. Paris, September 11, 1733


A renowned French composer, harpsichordist and organist, Couperin's earliest training was under his father, Charles. He also studied with Jacques-Denis Thomelin, organist du roi (of the King). Couperin became organist at St. Gervais, Paris in 1685­a post he held until his death. Couperin was a highly influential composer. He introduced the Italian trio sonata to France, a musical form he borrowed from the great composer Corelli. He made use of many significant baroque compositional techniques such as the basso continuo, in which the upper (melody) and bass voices are most important. His works reflect the gallant style of ornamentation which he explains in his book, L' Art der toucher le clavecin (The Art of Playing the Keyboard). This book on keyboard fingering and touch achieved a high degree of popularity and strongly influenced J.S. Bach.

Points of Interest