Magazine article The American Organist

Louis Couperin's Chaconne

Magazine article The American Organist

Louis Couperin's Chaconne

Article excerpt

One of the most thrilling organ pieces is the monumental Chaconne in G Minor of Louis Couperin. It appears in Joseph Bonnet's An Anthology of Early French Organ Music,1 which, together with his six-volume Historical Organ Recitals published by G. Schirmer, was one of American organists' sources of great music for several generations. In his notes on the music, Bonnet wrote that the 1658 manuscript was in the Bibliotheque nationale in Paris,2 but he failed to mention that the manuscript was not of music for organ, but for the clavecin, or harpsichord. Nevertheless, his edition treats it as a French-Classic Grand Chceur, beginning and ending on full organ with 16'couplers and played an octave higher. In between are three couplets, or interludes, played on a secondary manual, separated with statements of the eightmeasure chaconne on the Great (or Grand-Chœur). …

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