Saturday, 20 December 2014


“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” - Aristotle

Michel Corrette (10 April 1707 – 21 January 1795) was a French organist, composer and author of musical method books. Corrette was born in Rouen, Normandy. His father, Gaspard Corrette, was an organist and composer. Corrette served as organist at the Jesuit College in Paris from about 1737 to 1780. It is also known that he travelled to England before 1773. In 1780 he was appointed organist to the Duke of Angoulême and some 15 years later died in Paris at the age of 87.

Corrette was prolific. He composed ballets and divertissements for the stage, including “Arlequin”, “Armide”, “Le Jugement de Midas”, “Les Âges”, “Nina”, and “Persée”. He composed many concertos, notably 25 concertos comiques. Aside from these works and organ concertos, he also composed sonatas, songs, instrumental chamber works, harpsichord pieces, cantatas, and other sacred vocal works.

As well as playing the organ and composing music, Corrette organised concerts and taught music. He wrote nearly twenty music method books for various instruments (the violin, cello, bass, flute, recorder, bassoon, harpsichord, harp, mandolin, voice and more), with titles such as “L'Art de se perfectionner sur le violon” (The Art of Playing the Violin Perfectly), “Le Parfait Maître à chanter” (The Perfect Mastersinger) and “L′école d′Orphée” (The School of Orpheus), a violin treatise describing the French and Italian styles. These pedagogical works by Corrette are valuable because they give lucid insight into contemporary playing techniques.

Here is some delightful chamber music by this composer:
Sonata in D minor, Op. 14, No. 1
“Les delices de la solitude”, Op. 20: No. 6 Sonata in D major 7:00
Sonata in D major, Op. 14, No. 2 18:07
Sonata in E minor, Op. 25, No. 4: “Les Amusements D’ Appollon Chez Le Roi Admete” 25:35
Sonata in A major, Op. 14, No. 3 38:30
Sonata in F major, Op. 14, No. 4 45:18
Sonata in D minor 51:27Sonata in G major, Op. 14, No. 5 57:07
Sonata in E minor, Op. 14, No. 6 1:06:15

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