Anne E. Johnson has written an excellent article for Early Music America on the important legacy of Francois Couperin as orchestras and groups worldwide set to celebrate his 350th anniversary.
When François Couperin was born on Nov. 10, 1668, into a renowned musical family in France, surely no one suspected he’d be the one nicknamed “Couperin le grand,” as important to the Couperin legacy as J. S. Bach was to his family’s name. As he turns 350, François is still celebrated, and birthday parties are planned all over the globe.
Another enterprise will be spreading Couperin’s good taste in ensemble music. The composer is the star of the 2018 Pacific Baroque Festival in Victoria, Canada, Feb. 15-18, this year titled Le Grand Siècle: Music in the Glow of the Sun King. To festival artistic director Marc Destrubé, part of Couperin’s legacy is the impression he made on later generations. “Couperin’s influence was significant,” Destrubé said, “extending most notably beyond J. S. Bach, who copied out and arranged some of his keyboard pieces, to Richard Strauss, Ravel, and Brahms, who performed his music and oversaw the first complete edition of his keyboard works.”
… The Pacific Baroque Festival’s offerings will include Couperin works mixed in with those of Leclair, Marais, Rameau, and Mondonville. “We will devote one evening exclusively to Couperin’s music,” said Destrubé, “contrasting the Leçons de Ténèbres, his last liturgical work and one of the most sublime and mystical expressions of religious feeling in baroque music, with movements from ‘L’Impériale’ (from Les Nations), courtly music par excellence.”
The Festival runs from February 15th to 18th, tickets available online and in selected outlets.