Elisabeth Jacquet (Couperin’s senior by three years) was a remarkable girl. A member of a family of musicians, at the age of only five she attracted the benevolent attention of Louis XIV by her harpsichord playing, and subsequently was taken under the wing of his favourite, Mme de Montespan. At 18 she married the organist Marin de la Guerre and became famous for the concerts she gave at her home, in which her powers of improvisation were greatly admired. She wrote trio sonatas, an opera (the first one by a woman to be produced in France), violin sonatas that include double-stopping, and two books of Cantates francaises on Old Testament subjects.
Blandine Verlet, a noted French harpsichordist, studied with Ruggiero Gerlin and Ralph Kirkpatrick. She began recording in the late 1970s for Philips, switching to the Astree label in the 1990s. Her recordings range from J.S. Bach's keyboard works to Froberger to lesser known composers such as Louis Couperin and Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre.
Hailed for his “revelatory” account of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (The New York Times), Richard Egarr turns to one of the least known collections for solo harpsichord. This complete recording of the solo oeuvre of Louis Couperin (c.1626-1661) revels in his full harmonic and contrapuntal textures, marked by a poignant use of dissonance – music that entrances the ear!
The musical talents of Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet, who became Jacquet de La Guerre at her marriage in 1684 to the organist Marin de la Guerre, attracted the patronage of Louis XIVs court while she was still little more than a child. She was an admired singer, virtuoso player of the harpsichord and composer of at least one opera (Cphale et Procris, 1694), a number of cantatas both secular and sacred, trio sonatas and the harpsichord works recorded here.