On Sunday 1st February, 1789 Armand-Louis Couperin was rushing to his usual gig at the church of St. Gervais when he was knocked down by a runaway horse, dying the next day from a grievous head wound. So passed the most significant Couperin since his cousin François ‘Le Grand’. The family was the dominant dynasty in French music for some 250 years. There had continually been a Couperin on the organ bench at St. Gervais since 1626 – Armand-Louis’ father replacing François ‘Le Grand’.

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Armand-Louis had been born in 1727, educated by his father and in 1752 married Élisabeth-Antoine Blanchet, an accomplished musician in her own right; organist at the Abbey of Montmartre and her family were the finest harpsichord maker in...

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