Alongside the organ music of François Couperin and Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, Nicolas de Grigny’s only publication marks the apogee of Grand siècle organ music. The 1699 book contains a complete organ mass and alternatim settings of the five principal hymns for use at the more important feasts of the church year. How it was received at the time is unknown, yet the publication was considered of sufficient value to have been independently copied by JS Bach and JG Walter and was also reprinted in 1711 by the Paris publisher, Christophe Ballard.
Although previous editors have usually deferred to Bach and Walther’s copies, which musicologist Jon Baxendale discusses in detail, this is the first critical edition that relies wholly on the publication Grigny knew. The preface contains background notes concerning the book’s publication, and provides copious information on ornamentation, fingering, registration, the stylistic playing of notes inégales, musical rhetoric and registration. In addition, the plainsong mass and propers for performance within a liturgical context are given, as are settings of the plainsong hymns that would have been familiar to Grigny in his home city of Reims.
Published in durable hardcover with clear print, it is the fourth publication in the new critically-acclaimed series of early keyboard music from Cantando Musikkforlag AS.