François Couperin’s only volume of organ music, Pièces d’ orgue, was not printed but published instead in manuscript format when the composer was just 21 years old. Nevertheless, the music marks one of the highpoints of French Classical organ literature. First published by Cantando Musikkforlag in 2018, this is the only commercially available critical edition. Editor Jon Baxendale revisits the five known sources to discover which is most accurate and provides detailed notes on the instruments of the day, ornamentation, notes inégales and registration.
For those wishing to perform Couperin’s music within a liturgical context, this handsome volume contains settings of Missa Cunctipotens genitor Deus for Messe des paroisses, along with propers for feast days with instructions on the order of service by Guillaume Gabriel Nivers. For Messe pour les convents, an appropriate plainsong setting by Paul D’Amance has been chosen.
- Two organ masses with appropriate plainsong settings
- Detailed notes on background, performance and registration in English and French
- Full commentary
- Critically acclaimed in peer-reviewed journals
- This new critical edition, complete with an erudite and extensive preface, given in both English and French, is welcome … The standard of editorial work throughout is exemplary, including extensive critical notes … [and] notes on performance style and ornamentation are excellent.
– Early Music Performer
- We now have a newly-authoritative edition … underpinned by editorial knowledge, skill and sheer love … I honestly think that this is the publication that those who play the French Baroque organ repertoire have been needing for decades.
– Early Music Review
- Baxendale’s fine edition offers a great deal of relevant information, with a pertinent bibliography, all of which will prove extremely helpful to both performers and scholars.
– Journal of The Royal College of Organists