Generally considered the most important member of the famous Couperin family, and the most important musical figure in France between Lully and Rameau, Francois Couperin (1668-1733) has been known as "Couperin le Grand". His popularity rests mainly on his four published volumes of harpsichord works, containing over 230 pieces. Most have picturesque or descriptive titles.
Couperin was taught by his father Charles and by Jacques Thomelin, whom he succeeded as organist of the Royal chapel. In 1719, Couperin became harpsichordist to King Louis XV, for whom he gave weekly chamber concerts. Couperin was greatly influenced by Corelli and introduced into France the Italian master´s trio-sonata form.
Couperin strove to integrate both the French and Italian styles in his music, an ambition which is reflected in the title of one of his chamber music works, "Les Goûts-Réunis" (The Tastes Brought Together) His influential book "L´Art de toucher le clavecin" (The Art of Playing the Harpsichord) contains extremely careful and detailed performing instructions regarding fingering, methods of touch, and execution of ornamentation. At the time of his death Couperin was recognised as the leading composer and keyboard player in France. Many of his works were lost to posterity, as none of his original manuscripts has survived. The first complete edition of Couperin´s harpsichord music was prepared by Brahms and Chrysander in 1871-88. Ravel composed a 20th century tribute to him in Le tombeau de Couperin, and Richard Strauss orchestrated several of his works.
Chamber Music: Quatre Concerts Royaux (1722)
Les Goûts-Réunis ou Nouveaux Concerts (10 concerts including the "Corelli" Grand Trio, 1724)
Les Nations (4 Ordres for 2 strings and harpsichord, 1726)
Concert instrumental ("In Memory of the Immortal Lully", 1725).
Harpsichord: Piéces de Clavecin, Book 1 (5 Ordres, 1713), Book 2 (7
Ordres, 1717), Book 3 (7 Ordres, 1722), Book 4 (8 Ordres, 1730).
Organ: 42 Piéces d´orgue consistantes en deux Messes (1690).