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October 6, 2012
Recorded c. 1,947.
Thanks to Bryan Bishop for allowing me to "rebroadcast" his excellent transfers. You can find this and many other wonderful selections and information at his website: http://shellackophile.blogspot.com and YouTube channel, shellackophile.
Marcel Georges Lucien Grandjany (September 3, 1,891 -- February 24, 1,975) was a French-born American harpist and composer.
Marcel Grandjany began the study of the harp at the age of eight with Henriette Renié. He was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at age eleven where he also studied with Alphonse Hasselmans, winning the coveted Premier Prix at age thirteen. At seventeen he made his debut with the Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra, and gave his first solo recital, winning immediate acclaim. He appeared with Maurice Ravel in Paris in 1,913. His London debut was in 1,922 and his New York debut in 1,924. He appeared as soloist with major orchestras under the direction of Pierné, Cortot, Damrosch, Koussevitsky, Szell, Reiner and Golschmann among others.
From 1,921 to 1,926 Grandjany headed the harp department of the Fontainebleau Summer School. He moved to the United States in 1,926 and was appointed head of the harp department at the Juilliard School of Music in 1,938 where he taught until his death in 1,975, with the exception of several years during the 1,940s when he was on the faculty of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal. He also taught at the Manhattan School of Music from 1,956-1,967. Notable students include American harpist and educator Eileen Malone.
At the First International Harp Contest in Israel in 1,959, Pierre Jamet of France proposed the formation of an international association of harpists. Grandjany undertook to see what he could do in the United States and chaired a committee of leading harpists. The Founding Committee met for the first time on December 3, 1,962 in Mr. Grandjany's apartment. Over the years, he was a member of the Board of Directors, Regional Director, Chapter Chairman and President of the New York Chapter. He generously performed at AHS conferences; in 1,964 at the first conference and in 1,967, a solo recital which was his last public performance. He supported the educational goals of the Society vigorously and delighted in the American Harp Society's growth and community.
François Couperin (1,668 -- 1,733) was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist. He was known as Couperin le Grand ("Couperin the Great") to distinguish him from other members of the musically talented Couperin family.
Couperin was born in Paris. He was taught by his father, Charles Couperin, who died when François was 10, and by Jacques Thomelin. In 1,685 he became the organist at the church of Saint-Gervais, Paris, a post he inherited from his father and that he would pass on to his cousin, Nicolas Couperin. Other members of the family also later held the same position. In 1,693 Couperin succeeded his teacher Thomelin as organist at the Chapelle Royale (Royal Chapel) with the title organiste du Roi, organist by appointment to Louis XIV.
In 1,717 Couperin became court organist and composer, with the title ordinaire de la musique de la chambre du Roi. With his colleagues, Couperin gave a weekly concert, typically on Sunday. Many of these concerts were in the form of suites for violin, viol, oboe, bassoon and harpsichord, on which he was a virtuoso player.
Couperin died in Paris in 1,733.
Couperin acknowledged his debt to the Italian composer Corelli. He introduced Corelli's trio sonata form to France. Couperin's grand trio sonata was subtitled Le Parnasse, ou L'apothéose de Corelli ("Parnassus, or the Apotheosis of Corelli""). In it he blended the Italian and French styles of music in a set of pieces which he called Les goûts réunis ("Styles Reunited").
His most famous book, L'art de toucher le clavecin ("The Art of Harpsichord Playing", published in 1,716), contains suggestions for fingerings, touch, ornamentation and other features of keyboard technique.
Couperin's four volumes of harpsichord music, published in Paris in 1,713, 1,717, 1,722, and 1,730, contain over 230 individual pieces, which can be played on solo harpsichord or performed as small chamber works. These pieces were not grouped into suites, as was the common practice, but ordres, which were Couperin's own version of suites containing traditional dances as well as descriptive pieces. The first and last pieces in an ordre were of the same tonality, but the middle pieces could be in other closely related tonalities