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
- François came from a family of musicians. His stature within this
family is reflected in the title by which he now knownCouperin le Grand.
- He succeeded his teacher, Thomelin, as organist of Louis the XIV in
1693. Every Sunday he would perform private concerts for the King.
- He married Marie-Anne Ansault on April 26, 1689. They were the parents
of two sons and two daughters, one of which became the first female
clavenist to the King.
- Mass for the Convents
- Mass for the Parishes