Le Petit Rien
François Couperin (arr. Snell)
François Couperin (1668-1733)
1. François Couperin was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist. He was born in Paris, France into one of the best known musical families of Europe. He was known as Couperin le Grand (Couperin the Great) to distinguish him from other family members.
He became organist at the church of Saint Gervais and in 1692 Couperin started a series of increasingly prestigious appointments in the court of King Louis XIV – the Sun King. Couperin’s house still stands in the centre of Paris.
King Louis XIV was a great patron of the arts and sciences. During his reign music, ballet and architecture flourished. He built a magnificent palace just outside Paris at Versailles:
Couperin composed and published much music at the court and for the church including nearly 300 piece for the harpsichord. In 1716 he published L’art de toucher le clavecin (The Art of Harpsichord Playing) – a fascinating manual about harpsichord playing and technique:
Couperin was a BAROQUE composer and many of his keyboard pieces have evocative and picturesque titles such as Windmills. This French title of Le Petit Rien translates as The little nothing.