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Profile of Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

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Profile of Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

Born:

1665, baptized on March 17, 1665; her father was Claude Jacquet, an organist.

Birthplace:

Paris, France

Died:

June 27, 1729 in Paris

Also Known As:

She was the most notable female French composer of the Baroque period, a harpsichordist and the first French woman who published a book of harpsichord pieces. Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre was also the first French woman to compose an opera. She was married to Marin de la Guerre (an organist),

Type of Compositions:

She wrote instrumental chamber music including sonatas. She wrote pieces for the keyboard including suites and vocal pieces such as operas, cantatas, songs and airs.

Influence:

She came from a musically-talented family. Her father was an organist, her great uncle and uncle made musical instruments, her two brothers were also organists and her sister was a protégé of the Princess of Guise. It is also known that King Louis XIV was her patron and supported her talent financially.

Notable Works:

Some of her known compositions are: "Les Pièces de Clavecin," (first book published, collection of harpsichord pieces) "Pièces de Clavecin qui peuvent se jouer sur le viollon," "Les jeux à l’honneur de la victoire" (ballad, now lost) and "Cephale et Procris" (a musical tragedy).

Interesting Facts:

At the age of 5, Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre performed for King Louis XIV. They were so impressed with her talent on the harpsichord and her beautiful voice that the King allowed her to stay there until she married in 1684. She had a son who died in the early 1700s, followed by her husband's death in 1704. Perhaps as a way to overcome her grief, she decided to hold concerts in her home. The concerts were well-attended and she continued to perform before retiring in 1717.

Music Sample:

Listen to a music sample of Air de Violon.

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