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About François Couperin

A French harpsichordist and composer known for his boldly harmonized and highly ornamented harpsichord works of dance suites as well as organ, chamber, and sacred music. Possessed of a lively, curious mind and a refined, ironic sense of humor, Couperin (known as "The Great") wrote the "Pieces de Clavecin" as character portraits, both of general types and of specific people of his day, which are studied even today for their deliberate fantasy and innovativeness ("The Player," "The Courteous One," "The Little Nothing," and many others). He was also a master of the Italian and French vocal styles of the period, demonstrated in his profoundly lyrical church motets ("Legions de ténèbres," for Ash Wednesday; a "Magnificat"). Couperin's music leads from the baroque to the early classical periods. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny