Michel Corrette


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(b Rouen, 10 April 1707; d Paris, 21 Jan. 1795). French organist and composer. Little is known of his life before 1732 when he became music director of both the Foire St Germain and the Foire St Laurent, producing vaudevilles and divertissements. He held organ posts at Ste Marie (1737–90) and the Jesuit college (c.1738–62) and enjoyed the patronage of the Prince of Conti and the Duke of Angoulême. A prolific composer, he was one of the first in France to write concertos in the Italian manner, among them 25 ‘concertos comiques’, some of which are descriptive; many are based on popular tunes of the day. Corrette also composed sacred music: masses, motets, leçons de ténèbres and a Te Deum. A dedicated teacher, he published an astonishing number of ‘methods’ which provide interesting information about 18th-century French performance practice; the best known is the violin method, L'École d'Orphée (1738), with its illustrated discussion of French and Italian styles.

From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.