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Jean-François Dandrieu

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Jean-François Dandrieu


Jean-François Dandrieu (c. 1682, Paris – 7 February 1739, Paris) was a French Baroque composer, harpsichordist and organist.

Dandrieu was born into a family of artists and musicians. A gifted and precocious child, he gave his first public performances when he was five years old, playing the harpsichord for King Louis XIV of France, and his court. These concerts marked the beginning of Dandrieu's very successful career as harpsichordist and organist. He was a student of Jean-Baptiste Moreau. In 1700, aged 18, he started playing the organ at the Saint-Merri church in Paris and became its titular organist in 1705. At some point in 1706 he was a member of the panel of judges who examined Jean-Philippe Rameau's skills to appoint him organist of the Sainte-Madeleine en la Cité church. In 1721 he was appointed one of the four organists of the Chapelle royale of France. In 1733, he succeeded his uncle, the organist and priest Pierre Dandrieu (1664–1733) to become the organist of the (now destroyed) church of St Barthélémy in the Île de la Cité, a post he combined with duties at Saint-Merri (also known as Saint-Médéric).

The works published during his lifetime include three little harpsichord collections (1705) and three great ones (1724, 1728 and 1734), a volume of organ noëls in 1733, and an academic treatise on accompaniment (Principes de l'accompagnement) in 1718, which now serves as an important source of information on the musical practice of the era.

Dandrieu's harpsichord writing is reminiscent of that of François Couperin, but with more effective use of counterpoint, which reminds the listener of German Baroque music.

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